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A VOICE IN RAMAE; 



LAMENT OF THE POOR AFRICAN, 

9 Jctterett lExiU, 

AFAR FROM HIS FATHERLAND. 



A POEM, IN FIVE CANTOS, 

BY 

ANDREW STEINMETZ. 



1 Le donne lagriinose, e'l vulgo inerme 
Delia tenera etate, e i vecchi stanchi, 
C'hanno s6 in odio, e la soverchia vita; 
E i neri fraticelli, e i bigi, e i bianchi, 
Con l'altre schiere travagliate e'nferme, 
Gridan : O Signor nostro aita, aita ! 
£ la povera gente sbigottita, 
Ti scopre le sue piaghe a mills a mille 
Ch' Annibale, non ch'altri, farian pio." 



LONDON : 
HARVEY AND DARTON, 

GRACECHURCH-STREET. 
1842. 



5*M»W* 



LOAN STACK 



LONDON: 

PRINTED BY JOSEPH RJCKERBY, 
SHERBOURN LANE. 




§82Vg 

MM 



PEOPLE OF GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND, 

IS GRATEFULLY INSCRIBED 

BY THE AUTHOR. 



A 2 



259 



PREFACE. 



Long as this preface promises to be, still I earnestly 
request a patient hearing : what on other occasions may 
be only a matter of course, is an obligation in the present 
instance — certainly such to the author, and possibly to the 
reader, a due preliminary. 

The following Poem was begun about the time of the 
General Anti-Slavery Convention, held in Exeter Hall, 
during the month of June, 1840. Meanwhile, however, 
several months elapsed before I was induced to look for- 
ward with certainty to the event of its publication. But a 
gleam of hope was sufficient to arouse once more the 
feelings which had been appealed to, in the first instance, 
to redoubled activity ; for the heart may slumber, but it 
cannot sleep for ever on the sorrows of Africa. The subject 
was present to my mind — it dwelt in my heart—a neces- 
sity was upon me, and careless whether my voice was 
destined to be heard or not, I resolved to snatch the harp 
from the weeping willow, and lament the woes of Father- 
land to Memory, if not to Men. A descendant of the 
hapless race — was I not bound to consecrate to the cause 
of Africa, every faculty of my mind— every good feeling of 
my heart ? 



VI PREFACE. 

Re-considering, then, the theme, I found that I had un- 
derrated its scope and importance. The primary medita- 
tion, from a topic which was merely local, expanded into a 
general contemplation of Man enslaved by Man, from the 
beginning — hence the "Voice in Raman/'* — and descend- 
ing the stream of tears, Africa appeared " the waste howl- 
ing wilderness," + and was " heard a voice as of a woman 
in travail... that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hand, 
saying, Woe is me now ! for my soul is wearied because of 
murderers" X — hence the " Lament of the poor African, a 
fettered exile, afar from his Fatherland." But no infringe- 
ment of a physical, intellectual, or moral law, is without 
its penalty to the individual delinquent. Society is an 
aggregate of individuals ; it is unsound, then, according 
to the condition of its components. These components 
are so united as to be reciprocally influenced by rewards 
and penalties, physical, intellectual, and moral. Slavery 
is proved to be the infringement of a moral law; this in- 
fringement entailed a penalty upon individuals, thus upon 
society ; and because the physical and intellectual laws 
that sway the human family, are indissolubly connected 
with the moral laws, the penalties of Slavery (as a system) 
are general in their inflictions ; hence, the ethics of the 
Poem. Asia, Europe, America, Africa, the West Indies, 
successively furnish the scene, or place ; Ambition and 
Avarice the action ; and the time is from the Creation of 
Man to his present degradation in the United States of 
America ; for, when we speak of the moral effects of sla- 
very, colour is out of the question — Slavery is general in 
its effects, disastrous to the master, disastrous to the slave. 
The Poem is narrative, descriptive, ethic, and pathetic. I 
have endeavoured to render apparent its links of time as 

* See Jer. xxxi. 15—18. f Deut. xxxii. 10. 

X Jer. iv. 31. 



PREFACE. y [[ 

well as of place, by the narration and description ; and, 
where a chasm was unavoidable, namely, between the first 
canto and the second, there is introduced a meditation on 
the most striking events of the intervening history of 
nations, with the view of preluding that great event which 
has entailed— the destruction of one entire nation, and the 
slavery of another, viz., the discovery of America. There 
is but one intended episodical digression in the Poem, for 
which the feeling heart will ask no apology ; for who can 
arrest the gushing tear, and the words that speak an emo- 
tion which has slumbered, but is suddenly awakened at the 
name of a mother ! 

The metre of the Poem varies with the subject in contem- 
plation. In this I suffered the feelings or the thoughts 
to dictate, and not a mere desire of giving variety to the 
work. If I was right in adopting this plan, no apology 
will be required ; if wrong, none can avail.* And here 
I would pause to solicit the indulgence of those to whom 
I have inscribed my Poem. But, what excuse is it for 
an author, that his defective offering has been laboured 
in the midst of avocations which left him but few fruitful 
hours by day, and condemned him to the care-worn mid- 
night hour for meditation — that he is painfully convinced 
of the impossibility of composing rapidly and well f — that 
sufficient time was not allowed him to use the better end of 
the stylus ? X These reflections sadden the soul. But am 
I not strong in my motives — strong in my cause ? Shall I 
suffer the acceptable moment to pass by, until I may 
imagine to myself that I have ensured the praise of criti- 

* Perhaps I may cite the authority of Horace; for, after 
treating this very subject, he concludes thus : Descriptas ser- 
vare vices, operumque colores, &c. De Arte Poet. 86. 

f Monti, et Horat. passim. 

% Seepe stylum vertas, §c. Horat. Emendatio pars studio- 
rum longt utUissima. — Quintil. 



PREFACE. 



cal perfection, whilst the enemies of the Negro malign the 
freemen of the west, whom Great Britain has emancipated 
— enemies ever " in readiness to seize upon every vague 
rumour adverse to the experiment, thus illustrating both 
their wishes and their fears: whilst the colonies abound with 
agencies in the shape of unequal laws, partial magistrates, 
and unprincipled planters, hostile to the interests of free- 
dom," * whilst the Slave-trade flourishes still, connived 
at, if not protected — and — the heart is chilled at the reflec- 
tion — whilst "numbers of British merchants, and somemem- 
bers of the House of Commons, by their agents, are guilty of 
this practice : many mines of South America, and else- 
where, are worked chiefly by labour supplied in this way ; 
and British capitalists are directly or indirectly the main 
supporters of the Slave-trade ! "+ whilst, in fine, America — 
but let us hear an American proclaim "the glory and 
shame " of his own country — the " land of freedom ! " — 

* "Slavery, &c. in America," p. 164. Every one has heard the 
proverb " give a dog a bad name," &c. It has never been more 
strikingly verified than in the case of the poor negroes. In the 
colonies, every crime, from high treason down to petty larceny, 
may be " laid at their door ;" and " public ©pinion" says "Amen." 
This gives a wonderful advantage to their ci-devant white mas- 
ters, for these being by nature " honourable men," they cannot 
possibly be guilty of crimes which have been, from time out of 
mind, monopolized by the " black rogues." Strange this ; and 
yet there is another proverb in one of the colonies, viz. " Make 
me your executor, and make whom you like your heir" Certes, 
the proverb might be emblazoned on the title-deeds of almost 
every estate in that colony. 

f Petition of the Anti-Slavery Society, presented to the House 
of Commons by Sir E. Wilmot, September 17, 1841. In the 
" Times" of November 9, it is stated, that Captain Butterfield, 
of her Majesty's ship Fantome, had just taken another prize, 
being the thirteenth since he has been on the coast of Africa- 
The prize was a schooner, thirty feet in length by nine feet 
beam, and had on board one hundred and five slaves, all children, 



PREFACE. IX 

" What gives to the American Slave-trade its darkest 
atrocity is, that it enacts its tragedies on the soil of a re- 
public, claiming to be the freest on earth. Its seat is 
the boasted home of freedom ; its strongholds are the 
pillars of American liberty; its throne is the nation's 
heart ; its minions are republican statesmen ; its victims 
are native-born Americans. Amidst the galaxy of repub- 
lican and religious institutions, it has its sphere and its 
name. The JEgis of republican law is its shield, and the 
flag of freedom its shelter. Having its main source at the 
seat of the national government, it pours thence a stream 
of blood, widening and deepening by a thousand tributa- 
ries, from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, 
and Tenessee, till it rolls in a tide, vast as Mississippi, over 
the far south. It seeks no subterranean channels nor 
sequestered vales for a secret passage, but flows broadly 
under the sun-light of the nation's favour, laving the 
wharfs of a hundred cities, and the borders of a thousand 
plantations. Legal enactments lay no arrest upon it; 
public opinion rears no dams across it ; popular indigna- 
tion neither checks its current nor turns it aside; but 
onwards it flows for ever — America's favourite stream, 
though from its bosom ascends one ceaseless wail of 
woe!"* 

Such are the causes which have induced me to appeal 
now to the world, and not to delay — only regretting that 
greater powers were not given to me, to ensure happy 
results, commensurate in extent of good with the dismal 

besides the crew. The deck on which the slaves were stowed, 
was only eighteen inches clear from the upper-deck, and they lay 
on the deck between the beams. It is a curious circumstance, 
that all the prizes taken by Captain B. have been captured on a 
Sunday ! 
* Slavery, &c. in the United States, p. 67- 



X PREFACE. 

evils against which I have endeavoured to direct the 
indignation of Britons, and of all who have felt, and can 
feel like the determined friends of the Slave. 

It is with reluctance that I must here speak of myself : 
hut it is, perhaps, necessary to inform the reader of what 
opportunities I have had to be made acquainted with the 
subjects of the Poem. I was born in the island of St. Bar- 
tholomew (a Swedish colony) ; resided in the "West Indies 
to my fifteenth year ; was then sent, for my education, to 
England, where I remained about six years. St. Bartho- 
lomew has no sugar-estates, &c, and, perhaps, the island 
owes to this deficiency the mild features of its slavery.* 
Having, however, frequent intercourse with its sister-isles, 
it was easy for me to gather information respecting the 
details of slavery in the other colonies. Besides, my nurse 
was an African, and she would ever sit beside my bed at 
eve, and tell of the things she had seen in her youth ; and 
I was interested, even from a child, in the sorrows of 
Africa. How unjust is the accusation of a want of affec- 
tion in this miserable people ! When I returned to the 
island, the poor creature, old and weak with age, said to 
me, with tears in her eyes, " Now I shall die happy, for I 

* Perhaps in no other island was personal respect so readily 
conceded to the " coloured" members of the community as at 
St. Bartholomew. Still " demonstrations" have twice or thrice 
occurred, but with no serious results, except a few fines, until 
the Swedish government thought fit to send out a proclamation, 
which annihilated every legal distinction of" colour," admitting 
all indiscriminately (if duly elected) to the public offices, &c. ; 
and, that his Majesty's views might not be misunderstood, a 
new law was enacted, fining every tchite man, and every coloured 
man, should either, in a quarrel, allude to the respective com- 
plexions, as an opprobrious epithet. By a late paper it is stated, 
that proceedings are being taken by the Swedish government, 
with the view of emancipating the slaves in the colony. 



PREFACE. Xi 

have seen you once more ;" and then she went to her bed, 
and, bringing in her hand an old garment which I had 
worn in childhood, she said, " See here, I have always 
kept this under my pillow, and when I die, it must be 
placed under my head, in my coffin." I have read and 
heard of similar instances of affection in Africans, and am 
now happy to testify to its existence, by all my own expe- 
rience. On my return, I visited several of the islands, and 
finally, in my way to France, the United States of x\merica, 
this being the fourth visit. The first was in company with 
my father, in my sixth year. I have also been in British 
Guiana. 

The scenes, therefore, on land and sea (I have crossed 
the Atlantic, in different directions, eleven times) are 
copied from nature; the incidents narrated are tradi- 
tional, or such as I have heard from eye-witnesses ; the 
sentiments of the Poem, (except when the enemies of the 
Blackman speak,) I acknowledge. What I have seen, 
what I have heard or read, what I have felt or feel — such 
is the burthen of the " Voice in Raman." Whilst en- 
gaged in preparing the Notes, I was favoured with several 
works bearing on the subject. From these I have made 
extracts, which are therefore given as additional evidence ; 
— in composing the Poem, memory, thought, and feeling 
were my only aids. Still, I regret that I had not seen the 
Report of the American Anti-Slavery Society, * before 
the Poem was brought to a conclusion. That work details 
a system of Slavery, compared with which, West India 
Slavery, (bad as it was,) indeed, every other, was hap- 
piness itself. The extracts given are dreadful, but an 
entire perusal of the work has convinced me that the 

* Slavery and the internal Slave-trade in the United States 
of North America, 1841. Ward and Co., London. 



Xll PREFACE. 

whole book must be read, to form an adequate opinion of 
Slavery in America.* 

Such is the nature of the Poem : but ere I dismiss the 
subject, I beg leave to make a few observations to remove, 
if possible, certain specious prejudices which may still 
cling to the minds of many. The Slave has found ad- 
vocates in a Romily, Fox, Wilberforce, and Brougham ; 
both Houses of Parliament have heard detailed the atro- 
cities of " the trade in men ;" stubborn facts have placed 
the accusations of humanity beyond a doubt. We can 
now investigate Slavery as cause and effect, in all its 
ghastly proportions. It is evil. If a contrary opinion of 
Slavery be really entertained, that opinion cannot be 
established by reasoning; for Slavery revolts the very 
first principle that God has breathed into man. If it ex- 
ists — this pretended opinion — it springs from the same 
interested motives which would make the slaver, the slave- 
holder, and the slave-breeder appeal to humanity, to the 
name of Liberty, were he by a just exempli gratia, subjected 
to the shackle and the lash, legem sibi dixerat ipse ; for 
nature compels us to acknowledge the truth of these sen- 
timents, however atrociously we may belie them in practice. 
Hence the late Coryphaeus of the democratic dance in 
America has blessed the world with the following words : 

* I fear that the Notes have extended much beyond the usual 
limits of an appendix ; still I trust that I shall not be accused of 
" book-making," since I cannot possibly have any motive for 
committing that crime against the public. My object was to 
make the book a record of Slavery ; and I am modest enough to 
suppose that its prose may do as much good to the cause, as its 
verse. Less is given than was originally intended, particularly 
regarding the three last cantos. The natural productions of the 
West are worthy of an entire Poem; and the social effects of 
Slavery demand a philosophical dissertation. 



Vox, prcetereaque nihil, extolling what he calls, " the 
established maxim of the American people." 

" So far," says he, " as power is concerned, the benefi- 
cent Creator has made no distinction amongst men ; all are 
upon an equality ; and the only legitimate right to govern, 
is an express grant of power from the governed." And 
again, after contrasting the liberty of " a citizen of the 
Union" with "the boasted privileges of a Roman citizen," 
he says : " These precious privileges, the acknowledged 
property of all, the American citizen derives from no 
charter granted by his fellow-men. He claims them be- 
cause he is himself a man, fashioned by the same Almighty 
hand as the rest of his species, and entitled to a full share 
of the blessings with which He has endowed them."* 

At the very moment when those sentiments, true, 
noble, undeniable, were expressed, the sighs of three 
millions of Slaves under the lash, and with the most de- 
grading fetters on the mind, were rising heavenward and 
crying to God, like the blood of Abel, slaughtered by his 
unnatural brother, for succour and redress ! Video 
meliora, Tproboque—deteriora sequor, " I see the better, I 
approve of it, still I do the worse/' may well beseem the lips 
of repentant humility :+ but when in extenuation of their 
gratuitous crimes, it becomes the motto of Kings, Church- 
men, Statesmen, and Politicians, the sentiment is that of the 
arch-fiend himself, * Evil, be thou my good ! " 

There are other Anti-Abolitionists, but rather more 
equivocal in their opinions. They admit the injustice of 
Slavery, sensibus hcec imis, res est non parva, reponas, and 
yet they feign the apprehensions oiprudence in disapproving 
of the measure of emancipation : " Prudence is a cardinal 

* The late President's Message, 
f Rom. vii. 19. 



XIV PREFACE. 

virtue," &c, &c, &c * Expedience is the watchword of 
these croaking economists. But " the advocates of that 
commerce," (the Slave-trade,) says Sir Philip Francis, 
" had to plead long possession equivalent to prescription, 
and settlements made in the West Indies on the securities 
of those titles. To all these allegations, the answer was — 
and it could be no other — that the trade in our fellow- 
creatures was in its nature an infernal crime, which no 
power could legalize, no authority could sanction. "+ 

And shall we be told at the present day by the biblical 
Americans, that " the holding of Slaves so far from being 
a sin in the sight of God, is nowhere condemned in his 
holy Word?" X Then, may we hold it lawful to do every 
deed which is not specifically and directly condemned in the 
Bible ? Where is it forbidden in the Bible to work on a 
Sunday ? for all know that Sunday is not the seventh but 
the first day of the week. Where does the word Trinity 
occur in the Bible ? Where is it forbidden specifically 
and directly to be an accessory to the crime of another by 
furnishing the opportunity and place ?"§ &c, &c. No- 
where : but we find indirect texts which necessarily are 
tantamount to the enunciations of faith, to positive com- 
mands or forbiddings. Are these " searchers of the 
Scriptures" aware that " man-stealing" finds a denunci- 
ation of death in the sacred text V\\ And do they con- 

* Waterton, "Wanderings in South America. 

f Letter to Earl Grey, 1814. Pamph. vol. iv. 

j A " Resolution" of the Charlestown South Carolina Union 
Presbytery. See Report, p. 148. 

§ See note, p. 303. 

|| See Deut. xxiv. 7; Exod. xxi. 16; and by implication, 
Ezek. xxvii. 13, and Rev. xviii. the judgment against " Babylon 
the Great," whose "merchandise" was — "slaves and the 

SOULS OF MEN." 



PREFACE. xv 

scientiously believe that Slavery in the Union bears any 
resemblance to the condition of " servants" mentioned in 
the Bible ? Do they really suppose that such a system of 
Slavery would not have been there reprobated with a 
judgment for this and another world ? It would not. No, 
it would have been a useless denunciation— for as Slavery 
in America directly or indirectly induces the infringement 
of every commandment, so is it adverse to the written word 
of God— directly and indirectly an open violation of the 
law of God, therefore " condemned in his holy Word." Is 
it unbelief through neglect ? Slavery is guilty. Is it pro- 
fane swearing ? Slavery is guilty. Is it the breaking of 
the Sabbath day? Slavery is guilty. Is it the ties of 
father and mother that may not bind ? Slavery is guilty. 
Is it murder, adultery, stealing, bearing false witness 
avarice in all its branches ? Slavery is guilty of all. 

But we have learnt a " conclusive fact," viz. that Cham 
or Ham begat the Negroes. Do the Scriptures say so ? Not one 
word. The ninth and tenth chapters of Genesis detail the 
establishment of powerful nations. " Servant of servants" 
doubtless was Ham, and his progeny was such likewise, that 
is " in the liberty of the sons of God ; " nay " servant of ser- 
vants," like " holy of holies," may only mean, with regard 
to Ham " very low," (as the latter means " very holy,") 
in the estimation of Heaven, on account of his sin. But it 
is nowhere said, and certainly not evident, that he became 
a slave:* quite the contrary ; he and his descendants were 

* The genealogy of the word Slave is interesting. In the 
Sclavonian tongue slava or slaiva (i. e. glory) is a word of fa- 
miliar use in the different dialects, says Richardson, " and forms 
the termination of the most illustrious names." Hence the re- 
mark of Gibbon : " the national appellation of the Slaves has 
been degraded by chance or malice from the signification of 
glory to that of servitude." In its present application, the word 



XVI PREFACE. 

the first tyrants. Besides, who is to prove that the Negroes 
are exclusively his descendants ? Ovid's account of the 
^Ethiopians having turned black is much more probable ; 

Sanguine turn credunt in corpora summa vocato 
jEthiopum populos nigrum traxisse colorem ! 

They have thus become black with excess of blood in the 
face! But surely we need no better interpretation of 
" Servant of servants" than the fact of its being one of the 
attractive titles* of his Holiness the Pope of Rome. 
Truly, Ham must have travelled with wonderful determi- 
nation to fulfil the prophecy that hung over the first post- 
diluvian delinquent, at a time when rail-roads were not in 
general use. What induced him, or his immediate de- 
scendants, to make so long a journey, when he could have 
stopped short on the fertile banks of the Nile ? But how 
could he even get so far, engaged as he was with his mighty 
" beginnings' ; of kingdoms! There does not exist a na- 
tion which can boast an unalloyed descent. 

Meanwhile I shall state the practice of the early Chris- 
tian church. The authority quoted before, says, that 
Slavery " is in accordance with the example, or consistent 

is derived from the slavi, or sclavi, reduced to servitude by the 
Germans. Germ, sklave; Svved. slaf; French, esclave ; Sp. es- 
clavo: It. schiavo; Low Latin, sclavus; Eng. slave; the least 
corrupted of all in point of nominal descent, being precisely the 
most degraded. It would have been well if the modern Helots 
had only bequeathed a term to the dictionaries of languages — a 
metaphor to the indignant patriot — a by-word to the voice of 
fame ! On the banks of the Save they toiled and perished; and 
their descendants doubtless heave a sigh for those across the Adri- 
atic, who have been visited with the fate of their own forefathers. 
* Servus servorum Dei ad perpetuam rei memoriam. — Prelim, 
to Papal Bulls. 



PREFACE. Xvii 

with the precepts of patriarchs, prophets, and apostles." * 
Fortunately we have other interpreters of the Bible, who 
did not " wrest the Scriptures unto their own destruction." 
2Pet.iii. 16. 

" Since the time of the apostle Paul," says Digby,f " no 
one conferred a greater service upon slaves than St. 
Chrysostom, who, in his preaching, continually expatiates 
upon the change which Christianity has effected in regard 
to them, whose deliverance and enfranchisement he shows 
' to be an irresistible consequence of faith.' 1 1 know' saith 
he, alluding to this, ' that I am displeasing to those who 
hear me : but what can I do ? to others I am bound, and I 
will not desist.' " t 

" Again, God made man free. Abel, Seth, and Noah, 
had no slaves. It is certain that originally all were free ; but 
sin beginning with Adam, prepared the way for servitude, 
and entailed it on the human race, in the three-fold form 
of subjection § — that of the wife to her husband — of the ser- 
vant to his master — and of all men to the rulers of the 
state ; all which relations are divine, as being rendered 
necessary by the fall." || "Yet the deliverance wrought 
by Christ includes exemption from what is evil in each of 
these." " In the Christian church," says St. Chrysostom, 
" there is no slavery in the old sense of the word. There 
is only the name among the disciples of the Lord ; the 
thing itself is abolished in the same manner as death is 

* Charlestown Union Presbytery. 

t Mores Catholici; or, Ages of Faith, Vol. VII. 

X Horn. xl. in Ep. 1 ad Cor. 

§ " Reason in man obscur'd or not obey'd, 

Immediately inordinate desires 

And upstart passion catch the government 

From reason, and to servitude reduce 

Man— till then free."— P. L. xn. 
|| Horn. xxii. in Eph. ad Eph. 



XV111 PREFACE. 

become only a name, having lost its terrors and its reality. 
No Christian is a slave ; those that have been born again are 
all brothers" 

" After St. Ambrose among the Latin fathers, we meet 
nowhere with a nobler development of this doctrine, than 
in the works of St. Augustine, and the works of St. 
Chrysologus, Bishop of Ravenna, who laboured to extir- 
pate the remaining spirit of Pagan severities in respect to 
slaves. The first known instance among the great, of a 
real enfranchisement of slaves, was that of Hermes in 
Rome, prefect of the state, who was converted to Chris- 
tianity by Pope Alexander, in the reign of Trajan, while 
this emperor was absent in his expedition against the 
Persians. Hermes went over to Christianity, with his 
wife, and sister, and sons, and twelve hundred and fifty 
slaves, with their wives and children ; and on Easter-day, 
when they were baptized, he gave them all their freedom ; 
and as they had learnt no trade, and besides had no capital, 
he enriched each of them with costly gifts. Another me- 
morable example was given in the time of Dioclesian, by the 
prefect of Rome, Chromatius, who had been converted by 
the centurion, St. Sebastian, and who was received into the 
church with all his family, composed of fourteen hundred 
slaves of both sexes, whom he immediately set free, saying that 
* they who begin to have God for their Father should cease to 
be slaves of a man; and to these he gave all necessa- 
ries/ " * 

From these facts, and the foregoing observations, it will 
appear to all, except the Planter, Slave-holder, and Slave- 
breeding clergymen of American churches, that slavery " is 
clearly repugnant to the immutable principles of reason 
and justice, as well as to the mild spirit of Christianity ; 

* Ja. Bolland. 5 Mali. 



PREFACE. 



XIX 



and those who endeavour to justify or excuse it, by telling 
us that it has prevailed from the remotest times, and ex- 
isted among all the great nations of antiquity, the Greeks, 
Romans, &c, and under the Jewish and Christian dispen- 
sations,— merely inform us that a great moral evil was suf- 
fered to exist in those times, and among those nations." * 
" Disguise thyself as thou wilt, still, Slavery, still thou 
art a bitter draught ! and though thousands in all ages have 
been made to drink of thee, thou art no less bitter on that 
account." f But this subject is amply considered in the 
appendix. J The real cause of African slavery, and its only 
defence is the " Christian's" avarice — it is therefore as 
corrupt in its cause as it is despicable in its defence, and 
hideous in its effects — as such, hateful to God and dis- 
graceful to man. Nature acknowledges no subjection in 
man to man, but that of mutual incumbency — an incum- 
bency based on reciprocal benefits, freely conferred and 
justly appreciated by the giver as well as by the receiver ; 
hence the perfection of the British constitution; for al- 
though the sovereign is not in direct relation with every 
individual, still the people are represented by a powerful 
assembly, to which the sovereign is duly incumbent. In- 
dividual rights are secured by the theory, however flagrantly 
they may be supposed to be assailed by the practice. But 
has aught like this relation existed between the slave and 
his master ? The ox and the ass have ever represented 
the former, and in America the latter has his represent- 
ative in a darker world only. 

A few words more respecting a different " idol of the 
Forum." In the Prologue to the Poem occurs the name of 
Napoleon Buonaparte. The object of the Prologue is 

* Stewart. Jamaica, &c. p. 244. 
f Sterne. % See page 291, et seq. 

c 2 



XX PREFACE. 

to introduce the subject according to the plan of the Poem. 
With all Europe, Africa has to detest the memory of 
Napoleon. I have alluded to his cruel extermination of 
the Negroes in Martinico (by his faithful minions,) his 
treachery to Toussaint L'Ouverture in Hayti, whose 
children (they had been sent to France for their education,) 
he despatched as an inhuman bribe to tempt their father 
to betray his country ; but the patriot did not prefer them 
to his country ; the despot was disappointed. Toussaint 
returned them, for that " heart of iron"* had taken care 
to have a promise extorted to that effect from the father, 
should the terms of their surrendry be rejected. The 
notes will narrate the affecting episode. 

De Mortuis nil nisi bonum — but kings are never dead. 
Those that rule over men, even in death, still live to this 
world by the immortality of their deeds. Good or bad, 
they must be blessed or execrated, and that for ever ; — 
for their life is that of their people, they live for and in 
their subjects, with whom they are but one existence, 
identified in good and evil. Time reconciles us to many an 
equivocal character ; but if wisdom be destined to enlarge 
her sphere over the world, ages will but add to the exe- 
cration, however great, with which the wise and the good 
contemplate the memory of Napoleon Buonaparte. In 
youth and ignorance we thought not so, for slaughter and 
victory seemed glory then. But the splendours of Monte 
Notte, Austerlitz, and Marengo, will not for ever dazzle 
the eyes of weeping humanity. We are emerging from 
the night, the barbarous night, when " princes were pri- 
vileged to kill, and numbers sanctified the crime," — when 
" one murder made a villain, millions a hero, "t The Code- 

* T H yap (Tidrjpeog kv <j>pe<Ti Svfxog.- -Iliad, xxii. 357. 
f Porteus. 



PREFACE. XXI 

Napoleon, the " Legion d'Honneur," &c. raise but a poor 
" sinking fund" to liquidate the general and absorbing 
" national debt " of Napoleon's ambition. Frenchmen in 
their old-age infancy may be permitted to dote with unre- 
pressed rancour and bladder-puffed threatenings on the 
past in its prostrate glory ; but for Great Britain we have 
still no fear. She will smile and commiserate the childish 
pageant of last year,* in the French metropolis. Alas! 
who will gather the innocent bones of the Duke d'En- 
ghien, and place them in the balance of Justice, with 
those of his murderer ? But this is too serious a view of 
the subject. Louis Philippe knows better than any man 
the character of his nation ; he threw a bone to the bark- 
ing dogs ! What will the " Citizen King" resort to when 
he exhausts his larder ? 

In conclusion, " American slavery is a public thing, as 
much as American liberty." This name can figure with no 
enviable appendages in the Poem whose subject is slavery. 
But the Negro has friends in America ; these will find me 
grateful. In 1832 the American Anti-Slavery Society 
consisted of twelve members; at the present moment it 
numbers upwards of one hundred and thirty-two 
thousand — to all of whom, in the midst of an evil gene- 
ration, the sixth chapter of the Second Epistle to the Co- 
rinthians may be literally applied. In truth, they are the 
Negro's friends, " through honour and dishonour, through 
evil report and good report: as deceivers and yet true." 
But I cannot withhold this reflection. With regard to their 
slaves and coloured citizens, the Americans seem to act on 
the maxim, that submission to insult serves but to autho- 
rize a repetition ; and that forbearance under injuries is 

* This event should not surprise us, for Nero was likewise ho- 
noured after death.— See Note, p. 169. 



XX11 PREFACE. 

but an inability to redress them.* Meanwhile the gene- 
rous though necessary example of Great Britain and Mex- 
ico is held forth to them. If they still continue inexora- 
rable to the Blackman and his progeny, they may for 
a while continue to lash, to outrage, to burn f the wretches 

* Perhaps they fancy that they can gain an indulgence for 
their committed and intended sins of oppression, by their sym- 
pathetic offerings to the great Baal of Repeal. They will learn, 
too late, the moral of iEsop's fable, " The Lion and other 
Beasts." Is the following test adopted when "remittances" 
from "American sympathizers" are received? "Last year a 
very well-dressed gentlemanlike person addressed me (said Mr. 
O'Connell,) in the lobby of the House of Commons, and said 
he was from America. He begged me to afford him the means 
of hearing the debate. I said with pleasure ; • But first let me 
ask you a question : from what State are you ?' ' Alabama. ' • Are 
you a slave-owner?' • Yes.' '■Then (said Mr. O'Connell) I bowed 
and left him' "— O'Connell's Speech in the Convention. Anti- 
slavery Reporter, June 17, 1840. 

f " All was silent as death while the executioners were piling 
wood around their victim. He said not a word, until feeling 
that the flames had seized upon him, he then uttered an awful 
howl, attempting to sing and pray, then hung his head and 
suffered in silence, except in the following instance : — After the 
flames had surrounded their prey, his eyes burnt out of his head, 
and his mouth seemingly parched to a cinder, some one in the 
crowd, more compassionate than the rest, proposed to put an 
end to his misery by shooting him, when it was replied, ' that 
would be of no use, since he was already out of pain ! ' ' No, 
no,' said the wretch, ' I am not, I am suffering as much as ever. 
Shoot me ! Shoot me ! ' ' No, no,' said one of the fiends who 
were standing about the sacrifice they were roasting, ' he shall 
not be shot. / would sooner slacken the fire, if that would in- 
crease his misery ; ' and the man who said this was, as we un- 
derstand, an Officer of Justice." This took place at St. 
Louis, Missouri ; the negro " had stabbed an officer, by whom 
he was arrested."— See " Slavery, &c. in the U. States," p. 126, 
et seq., for other instances. 



PREFACE. XXiii 

that Providence seems to have delivered up to them as to 
their furies ; but for a while, yet a very little while. Every 
hour that they oppress the Blackman bids them— be- 
ware ! Let them imitate Great Britain, or remember 
Hayti. Their negroes are slaves, ma schiavi ognor fre- 
menti ; and Heaven may not vouchsafe to the oppressors, 
as well as to the oppressed, a Toussaint L'Ouver- 
ture. Heaven forbid such an event! No, let us 
still hope that a country* so blessed by nature, will 
be equally blessed by Heaven — by that pure re- 
ligion which has made us all free. Yes, we have rea- 
son to hope that the day is not far distant when Ame- 
rica will be " the Land of Freedom." Will not the me- 
mory of Washington be sufficient to ensure the sacrifice of 
" the withering and blasting effects of slavery," to gain 
that blessing of God which will render their country " the 
land of the free, and the home of the brave ;"f — strong in 
herself, beloved by all her children, and respected by the 
stranger. The proclamation of the First of August, 
eighteen hundred and thirty-four, was the commentary of 
Great Britain on the glorious achievement of Runnemede. 
Magna Charta and Negro Emancipation were the results of 
similar causes — a noble pride and moral determination. 
Contrasts and similitudes pervade all history. Queen 
Elizabeth had two ships on her own account in the Slave- 
trade expedition of Hawkins. Queen Victoria has three 
ships, on the account of humanity, in the expedition for the 
suppression of the Slave-trade, and for the civilization of 
Africa. Hence the Poem concludes with a song of hope, 
viz. a chorus of African women with their infants in their 
arms, welcoming the dawn of liberty and civilization to 
Africa. 

* See Canto IV. p. 116. 

t Averse of their national song, " The Star-spangled Banner." 



XXIV PREFACE. 

At length has Britain followed the example of the good 
Bishop of Rome. It was the sight of a few white British 
slaves in the market at Rome, that first inspired Gregory 
with the resolution of converting this nation to Christianity; 
and it is the sight of millions of black African slaves, deso- 
late in the West, that inspires Britain with the same de- 
termination. What has America done ? She has devised 
" the Colonization Society — an institution whose par- 
tialities for the oppressor, whose indifference for the fate 
of the slave, and exterminating hatred of the free people 
of colour, have been a thousand times exposed."* 

I take this opportunity gratefully to express my thanks 
to those who have been pleased to lend a helping hand to 
my humble efforts. At the same time I beg leave to state 
that I have advocated the cause of Freedom without any 
view whatever to personal emolument. Few will think 
that I could have done otherwise, even in the ab- 
sence of an object to be promoted. The profits (if any) of 
the publication will be placed at the disposal of " The 
Society fob. the Extinction of the Slave-Trade, 
and for the Civilization of Africa;" of which 
His Royal Highness Prince Albert is President — by 
those gentlemen + who have kindly undertaken the publi- 
cation. For myself, I seek no other recompense than that 
which results from the conviction that I have sincerely ad- 
vocated a cause which I consider my own. 

Justice, Humanity, Religion, have urged me to the en- 
terprise. I have raised my fervent voice heavenward, in 
supplication for success to the exertions of the friends of 
Africa ; and a descendant as I am of the hapless race, if I 
have adequately sung the woes that the sons and daughters 
of Africa have endured during their captivity of three 

* Slavery, &c. in America, p. 158. 

f Messrs. L. C. Lecesne and J. Frankland. 



XXV 



hundred years — perchance my 'Lament' will soothe the 
weeping memories of those who have faded away and pe- 
rished in the Babylon, where their voices of grief were 
heard with mockery, and the malediction of Slavedom 
could blast with impunity the unoffending and defenceless 
creatures of God. 



Fakenham, Norfolk, 1842. 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 



The Author still offers the profits of the Poem to the Society 
named in the Preface : but, deeply lamenting the consequences 
of the late unfortunate Niger Expedition, he earnestly requests 
that whatever profits shall accrue from the publication, may be 
applied to the relief (if required) of the wives, children, or 
relatives of those who have perished in self-devotion to the 
cause of Humanity. 



A Friend, Liverpool, Two Copies. \ 

Ditto Ditto. , „ ,, . _. 

Ditto Ditto. |perJ.Frankland,Esq. 

Amhurst,-— Esq., Oscott College. ' 
Atkins, Michael, Esq., Hackney Road. 

Barrett, Rev. Jos., Upper Clapton. 
Beart, Mrs., Aldboro, Suffolk. 
Boyer, Mrs. L., St. Vincents, W. I. 
Brown, Mrs., Norton Hall, Norfolk. 
Burnel, John, Esq., Upper Clapton. 
Butler, John, Esq., Hackney Road. 
Butler, C. S. Esq., Upper Clapton. 
Buxton, E. N. Esq. 

Calvert, Rev. Thos., Litcham, Norfolk. 
Campbell, R. Esq., Fakenham, Norfolk. 
Campbell, Rev. C, Weasenham, Norfolk. 
Capper, John, Esq., Upper Clapton. 



XXviii LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 

Carr, John, Esq., Chief Justice, Sierra Leone. 

Clark, Henry, Esq., Charter House Square, 2 Copies. 

Clarke, J. C. Esq., Water Lane, London. 

Clarkson, Thomas, Esq., Playford Hall, Suffolk, 2 Copies. 

Chad, Sir Charles, Bart., Pinkney Hall, Norfolk. 

Chambers, Mrs., Colkirk, Norfolk. 

Cock, W. H. Esq., M. D. St. Kitts, W. I. 

Crane, Miss Mary A., Fakenham, Norfolk. 

Curteis, Sir Thomas Horsley, Ry burgh Hall, Norfolk. 

Durning, Miss, per E. Hamnett, Esq., Liverpool. 

Edgar, T. Esq., Fakenham, Norfolk. 
Englehart, Mrs., Holloway. 
Englehart, Miss, Holloway. 
English, Mrs., Harbourn, Staffordshire. 

Frankland, A. Esq., Camberwell, Surry. 
Frankland, John, Esq., Camberwell, 3 Copies. 
Frankland, Miss, Kennington, 2 Copies. 
Freme, James, Esq., per E. Hamnett, Esq., Liverpool. 

Gibbons, David, Esq., Pump Court, Temple. 
Green, H. Esq., Fakenham, Norfolk. 
Gurney, Daniel, Esq., North Runcton, Norfolk. 
Gurney, J. J. Esq., Earlham, Norfolk, 2 Copies. 

Hamond, R. Esq., Fakenham, Norfolk, 4 Copies. 

Hamond, Mrs., Fakenham, 4 Copies. 

Hamond, Miss, Fakenham, 2 Copies. 

Heitland, Arthur A., Esq., Colkirk, Norfolk. 

Heitland, Miss, Colkirk, Norfolk. 

Hogarth, The Very Rev. W., Darlington. 

Hodgkinson, Jas. A. Esq., per E. Hamnett, Esq., Liverpool. 

Holmes, Henry, Esq. Ditto. 

Hamnett, Edward, Esq., Liverpool. 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. xx [ x 

Imrie, William, Esq., per E. Hamnett, Esq. 

Jackson, Mrs., Bracon Hall, Norfolk. 

Jones, John, Esq., Upper Clapton. 

Jones, Christopher, Esq., per E. Hamnett, Esq. 

Kent, Mrs., Fakenham, Norfolk. 
Kirkley, Jas. Esq., Darlington, Durham. 

Ladbrook, Mr., Artist, Lynn, Norfolk. 

La Fargue, Mrs. E., St. Vincents, W. I. 

Lecesne, L. C. Esq., 2 Copies. 

Linstant, I. M. Esq., 28, Rathbone Place, London. 

Lushington, Rt. Honble. S. 

Macaulay, H. W. Esq. 
Mackay, George, Esq., Gracechurch Street. 
Mardenborough, Geo. Esq., St. Kitts, W. I. 
Montefiore, John, Esq., Leadenhall Street 

Nice, I. P. Esq., per E. Hamnett, Esq. 

Pine, B . C. C. Queen's Advocate, Sierra Leone. 

Questel, P. Esq., St. Vincents, W. I. 

Raven, P. Esq., Litcham. 

Redman, J. C. Esq., Lime Street. 

Rolling, Mrs. R., Richmond, per J. Frankland, Esq. 

Roscoe, W. S. Esq., per E. Hamnett, Esq. 

Rudge, E. Esq., Fakenham, Norfolk. 

Russell, R. Esq., Barrister at law, Jamaica. 

Ryley, Jun. Jas. Esq., per E. Hamnett, Esq. 

Searl, Francis, Esq. \ 
Shea, John, Esq. _ _ 

Shepherd, Geo., Esq. j P er J ' F ™ kland > *H 
Shepherd, Robert, Esq. 



XXX LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS, 

Sauerbley, C. It. Esq., Fenchurch Street. 
Sheils, Charles, Esq., per E. Hamnett. 
Steinmetz, J. H., Esq. Trinidad. 

Tatham, Rev. T., Colkirk, Norfolk. 

Tumour, The Hon. & Rev. A., Tatterford, Norfolk. 

Tumour, The Hon. Mrs., Tatterford, Norfolk. 

Tumour, Miss, Tatterford, Norfolk. 

Twentyman, Elizabeth, per E. Hamnett, Esq. 

Walter, Dr. J. F., 24, St. Paul's Church Yard. 
Ward, Thos. Esq., New City Chambers, London . 
Wise, Messrs. J. and W. H., Esqrs., Sierra Leone. 



ERRATA. 



Page 32, line 11, for landscapes' 

64, 8, or 

67, 1, ■ dele captive. 

91, 6, There 

119, 22, they their 

133, 19, > ruins, lo ! 

136, 8, Saloe's 

138, 18, its home 

206, 17, and a future 

229, 30, Sthemelus 

232, 7» inspirating 

241, 7, Christatus 

246, 22, mit ihn 



247, 23, 


Kehren 


257, 9, 


Nosology 


302, 26, 


freedom 


319, 16, 


vovis 


322, 3, 


Americans 


334, 32, 


European's 


336, 27, 


and 



landscapes, 
and. 

That. 

she her. 

ruins, — lo ! 

Siloe's. 

his home. 

with a future. 

Sthenelus. 

inspiriting. 

C'ristatus. 

mit ihm. 

footstep. 

kehren 

Pathology. 

baptism. 

novas. 

Americas. 

European. 

are. 



PROLOGUE. 



Is there aught that man shall cherish, 

Part supreme of Nature's whole ? — 
What, though Nature's clay may perish, 

Lives the attribute of soul ? — 
Destined for eternal bliss, 

Better half of life, the twin, — 
Braves the Tyrant's bullet's hiss, 

Dauntless mid the battle-din ? 

Switzerland, her champion Tell, 

Spoke the Patriot's reply — 
Freedom ! when the blessed spell 

Charm'd his arrow, (*) bade it fly — 
Saved his child, but vow'd to strike 

Deadly on the Tyrant's breast, — 
Struck him, — and above his pike 

Alpine Freedom waved her crest. 

Oak, that buds beneath the steel, 
Rock, that lightnings strike in vain, 



// 



h 



2 



Life-boat, that with steadfast keel, 

Only sinks to rise again, — 
Gossamer, on willow-tree, 

Battling with the raging blast, — 
Yields awhile, but cheerily 

Triumphs o'er the storm at last. 

Weak may be the freeman's blade, 

But his soul is strong to die : 
Vanquish'd, fights again, till laid 

On the Shield of Liberty. 
Fatherland that gave, receives 

Freedom with his life, — the boon 
Cherish'd, still resign'd, he leaves 

Trophied on a Marathon. 

Take my field, my shed, my cattle, 

Take my priceless fame — take all, — 
Aye, my life in honour'd battle, 

But in Freedom let me fall ! 
Sweet shall flow my life-blood streaming, 

Sweet my dying gasp shall be, 
"When my country's pledge redeeming, 

I may die for Liberty ! 

'Tis denied me ! chains and lashes — 

These are all I now inherit ! 
And their thousand thousand gashes, 

As a Fate-apportion'd merit ! 



Justice cries in vain from earth, 

Heaven-fledged the vengeful blow,* — 

Afric's woe is still the mirth 
Of the gold-adoring foe ! 

Would ye see the Tyrants standing, 

Scorpions shaking o'er the slave — 
Brave men suffering — knaves commanding ? 

Go beyond the Atlantic wave — 
See the sons of — Washington ? 

No — the bastards have no claim 
To Columbia's deathless son, 

Though they boast his hallow'd name. 

Glory pinnacled his soul 

On her noblest, highest flight — 
Justice-led, he reach' d the goal, 

Crown'd with stars for ever bright. 
He could see God's fairest image, ( 2 ) 

Though its Maker veil'd it o'er, — 
Recognising 'neath that visage, 

Flesh and soul his Saviour wore. 

What though hotter suns shall tan me 
To the blackest Stygian hue, — 

Would ye, therefore, say, unman me, — 
Deem me less a man than you ? 

* The Revolt of Hayti. 

B 2 



'Tis but paltry outward binding — 
Black or white, what matters it ? 

Ope the book, and in it finding, 
Read what Nature there has writ. 

Do we lack a just ambition ; — 

Justice firm, what need ye more ? 
Gratitude — but prompt decision 

When the battle-trumpets roar. 
Light of mind despite your fetters, — 

Eagle-like was Hayti seen, 
Soaring high above her " betters," 

'Neath the sun of Dessalines.( 3 ) 

Ha ! there is an arm that flings # 

Vengeance like a sudden blast, — 
Griping talons, stunning wings, 

Nemesis in flesh-repast ! 
Strike ! they strike — a flash ! a roar ! 

Oh ! the joy that woe imparts 
When a thousand tyrants pour 

Blood-libations from their hearts ! — 

Red-seas rise, in fury swelling, 
Gulph the gasping blasphemy — 

* This and the subsequent stanzas refer to the Revolt of 
Hayti, and the conduct of the French in general, and of Buona- 
parte in particular, towards the Blacks. — See the Notes at the 
end of the volume. 



Screaming like the thunder telling, 
When the flash has cleft the sky. 

Death for death, and crime for crime ! 
Ye had taught us how to kill, — 

Hayti's " rebels" did but rhyme 
To their tyrants' rabid will. 

Tortured on the wrenching wheel — 

(Ling'ring torture your delight !) 
We but tried if you could feel — 

As ye sinn'd, we would requite. 
Where our brethren whom ye drown'd, 

Nightly plunging in the sea ? 
We pursued you vengeance-bound — 

Did ye slay in charity ? 

Yet did Mercy shield the prey ! 

Unprotecting, still protected ; 
Though just vengeance bade her slay, 

Midnight murderers detected — 
L'Ouverture, ( 4 ) whilst raged the fight, 

Steadfast by his master stood : 
Guardian angel of his flight — 

Such the Blackman's gratitude ! 

Born a savage — (thus ye name 
All that midwife-Nature rears,) 

To your fields a slave he came — 
Bore the lash and wept his tears, 



6 



Bitter as the salt-sea lake ! — 

Till by crushing fury sped, 
Hayti rose revenge to take, 

For the living and the dead. 

God can dash the towering down, 

God can strike the mighty low, — 
Bringing forth the hidden clown, 

In a prosperous overflow. 
Hayti call'd him to her aid — 

Gave the sword he bore so well — • 
Till by treachery betray'd, 

Murder'd cruelly, he fell I 

Firm, compell'd not by their arms 

To betray his country's right ; 
Pure, he scorn' d their venom' d charms, 

Tempting father by the sight 
Of his children torn away, 

In captivity to pine — 
If he dare oppose the sway 

Gaul's usurper shall define. 

Brutus ! Rome was satisfied 
When thy sons convicted fell : 

Traitors to their country died, — 

Nature writhed, but said 'twas well ! — 

Not so thine, great L'Ouverture ! 
Genius, Virtue, like thine own — 



Still the bait could not allure 
Thee, left heirless thus, alone ! 

" Take my children back,"* he cries, 

" Since by Fate it must be so ! 
" Nature craves what Fate denies, 

" But my country wills the blow ! 
" Ye have rightly deem'd my heart, 

" All the father's ties demand — 
" But my country claims a part, 

" There, my God and Hayti stand ! 

Thine the deed, dread Corsican ! 

Nero to the world and worse, — 
Heaven's scourge to sinning man — 

All included in thy curse ! 
Awful destiny was thine ! 

Now a despot linking chains — 
Then impinion'd on the brine, 

Paying Justice penal pains ! 

Men have torn thee from thy tomb, 
Where beseem'd thee best to be ; 

Far, in solitary gloom — 
Shrouded in thy memory ! 

Resting-place for vulture's flight 
Darkling on his tired wing — 

* As near as possible his own words. 



8 



Ere Death's garbage glads the sight 
Of Atlantic's carrion-king. 

Africa shall hate thy name 

As her foulest, bitterest foe — 
Slanderer of her Heroes' fame 

Whom thou couldst not overthrow ! 
Ta'en by treachery they died — 

Drown'd or strangled, both to thee, 
Means ambition justified 

By her curst expediency ! 

God avenged her — struck thy might 

With a whelming overthrow — 

o 

Flying in unguided flight, 
Retribution's doubled blow, 

Chained thee to an island rock — 
Pining, sceptreless, forlorn — 

Close beside her she could mock 
Thee, of all thy terrors shorn. 

If repentance touch'd thy breast, 

Ere the moment of thy doom — 
Rest, fate's emissary ! rest — 

Where thyself hast wish'd thy tomb. 
If thy spirit heave a sigh 

For thy murders of our race — 
Bid thy sons no more deny 

Freedom, as thy funeral grace. 



9 



Weeping memory ! awake ! 

Rise in death's pale winding-sheet — 
Sing altho' the heart-strings break 

Whilst the notes thy woes repeat. 
Past and passing, like the night 

When the morning brings no rest — 
Passing, past, — then bless the light 

Heaven's merciful behest ! 



31 



CANTO I. 



Order rules the starry vault, 

God-built round as warrior-shield— 
Till He time the dread assault 

Of his final battle-field : — 
Angel, by his word created, 

Through the circling fires sped — 
Energy fix'd, unabated, 

Stamp'd on Earth his measured tread. 

Hurricano's roar reverbing 

Round about the reeling deep, 
Order aiding, not disturbing 

Bids the killing lightnings leap. 
Blinding flash, and rocket-bolt, 

Hissing down the firmament — 
And the universal jolt 

Shakes the creaking sphere — till spent, 



Calm, the infant of her throes 
Cradled on the billow's breast — 



12 



Mariner forgets his woes, 

Thanking God for welcome rest. 
Smiles unnumber'd dimpling ripple 

Neptune's face in merry mood, 
Greeting all his ocean-people 

From their trembling solitude. 

Heaven above, and earth beneath 

Fleecy cloud and life-green tree — 
Blooming valley, fallow heath, 

All shall bless the wise decree. 
Battling storms, like Wisdom's wrath, 

Seem to blast — but truly bless — 
Mercy treads again their path, 

Where they leave a wilderness. 



II. 



Tigers prowl by instinct fated — 

Crocodiles shall whine and kill : 
But the weak, though devastated, 
Still succumb by Heaven's will. 
Dread, but just consistency ! 

Nature's God hath deem'd it good- 
Food for one, a thousand die, 
. Life and death in sisterhood. 

Brutal instinct prompts the feeling- 
Brutal, wisely still intended : 



13 



Nature by her creatures dealing — 
Cruel means by ends amended. ( 5 ) 

Learn from nature, men degraded ! 
If Religion s voice ye scorn — 

By brute policy upbraided, 

Ye, with God-like reason born ! 

Question all her works — the sea, 

Earth, — sky, — fish, and beast, and bird, — 
Each for each ; — and all agree, — 

Means, to ends unseen referr'd. 
No discordant passions mar 

God's fore-destined harmony — 
All a harp, whose strings they are 

" Glory to God !" their melody. 

III. 

Nor less exalted thou, man ! 

But more — Creations Benjamin 
Last-born, thou didst complete the span — 

God said, " 'T was good," and smiled serene. 
Thou hadst high reason, symbol-speech, 

And inborn sense of right and wrong — ( 6 ) 
That thou throughout Creation s reach 

Shouldst sing " Peace unto men ! " thy song. 

Exalted theme ! Oh ! thou wast bless'd 
E'en more than angels in that hour : 



14 



Unmerited, by God's behest — 

High Chancellor of Earth ! all power 

Supreme to wield ! great sceptred King 
Of all beneath the eternal brim — 

All to thy feet their tribute bring — 
All made for Thee, and thou for Him ! 

For God, as fondling lover smiled 

Beholding thee so fair, so good : 
Or kiss'd thee, as a parent, child 

Most like Himself in plenitude 
Of Power, "Wisdom, Virtue's height — 

All attributes of thee he will'd — 
Epitome of Heaven's delight — 

Oh ! hadst thou well thy station fill'd ! 

One sole command he gave, but one — 

Not hard, since otherwise so blest ! 
As child, its mother's breast upon 

E'en joys the more each fond request 
Gladly to yield, that proves more love, — 

So hadst thou cherish'd it and joy'd — 
E'en tho' all envious hell should move 

Feigning thy happiness alloy'd ! 

IV. 

Blot the page — blot out the name ! 
Man hath lost his heritage ! 



15 

Demons from their dungeon-flame, 
Man betray'd, 'gainst God engage ! 

Twice deceived, and ruin'd twice — 
Desperate despair arose — 

Guilt, the cause — his solace, vice — 
Till remorse began her throes. 

By the clouds of sin o'erspread, 

Reason, crowning gift of light, 
(Justice from her centre fled !) 

Shed for day, a starless night. 
Angels saw the eclipse and wept — 

Vainly was their hallow'd pain ! 
Ere God's vengeful arm had slept, 

Earth beheld a brother slain ! 

Deep where wrath shall never cease, 

Man's betrayers bless'd the deed, 
Death received his long release — 

Claim'd his scythe and curbless steed. 
Man, God's Absalom, thence doom'd, 

Holocaust for Death to be — 
Curst, alas ! by lips that bloom'd 

Blessings on his infancy ! 



V. 



Ages pass'd, by guilt renown'd — 
Nimrod, first man-hunter, crushing ; 



16 

As he trod, the earth — and frown'd 
Like disastrous comet rushing 

Through the terror-stricken sky, 
Leader of the dreadful van ! 

Lo ! the tyrant's signals fly — 

Streams the blood of man by man ! 

Avarice chief — Hell's Upas * germ 

Grafted from the parent tree, 
Like the one undying worm, 

Buds a scion, slavery ! 
O'er the earth its branches spread, 

High, — as low in hell its root — 
By man's lust, ambition fed 

Gives him carnage for its fruit. 

Front to front, and hand to hand, 

Lowering rush the fiends of war — 
Decimating every land 

Arch-plague in Adrasta's car, 
Arm'd with stern Medusa's crest ! 

Gleaming spear and flashing blade, 
Scabbardless, ne'er more to rest 

Till the sod on man be laid. 



* A poisonous tree of the East : — 

" Let none admire 
That riches grow in hell : that soil may best 
Deserve the precious bane." — Milton. 



17 

Oh ! that were well ! 't were sweet ! to die 
When all is lost, or nought remains 

But life in hopeless slavery — 
The victor's pity with his chains ! 

Ah ! still the field was bravely fought — 
Though lost, and had been won, had Fate 

Not otherwise decreed — the thought 
not the soul disconsolate. 



The trampled insect trips the foot, 

Not wholly unavenged shall die — 
God's life in all will strive and moot 

"With pangs of conquering agony ! 
Oh ! 'tis no fancy this — it speaks 

The bounded range of man's control — 
The lamb's weak moans, and man's fell shrieks 

Proclaim the Freedom of the soul. 

Pagans have blest this truth ; nor spurn'd 
This lasting birth-right of the mind — 

Revered the foe whose bosom burn'd( 7 ) 
With stubborn fire unconfined : 

Till spearless, shieldless, Fate-subdued, 
The warrior only thus enslaved, 

To clean the rust in sullen mood 
. From off the sword his blood had laved. 

And Pagan Athens would defend 
The anathema of cruel Fate — 



18 



Where men were foes, he found a friend 
Within her Hero's temple-gate,* — 

There, shielded by a god, defied 
The thraldom of his hapless lot — 

Her justice with the weak would side, 
When power durst invade his cot. 

She dried his tears — would soothe the pain 

That only Liberty could heal : 
She 'd spare the lash — the scoff refrain — 

And wept to see the exile feel 
Hope's agony in death expire, — 

Whilst he recalls his natal skies, 
Love agitates the quenched fire — 

Once more remembers home — and dies ! 

She was herself enslaved ! alas ! 

Athens beheld the Eagle perch 
Upon her Parthenon — and pass 

From nest to nest in cruel search : — 
Her birds are stolen — they unlearn 

Their notes ; or, warble still to cheer 
And humanize the prowler stern, 

That wept for Greece the Victor's tear ! 

Alone she fell not. Banner unfurl'd, 
Fate's mystery, Imperial Rome 

* The temple of Theseus— the refuge of the slave from the 
cruelty of his master. 



19 



Fulmined and shook the crouching world ! 

Beneath the arbitress of doom, 
As one, all nations gathering, 

In chains march to her capitol — 
The final triumph of her king,* 

Ere Grace emancipated all. 

Until the Christians avarice 

(Oh ! blasphemy to bear that name, 
Whereby from thrall man gain'd release !) 

The tree of Slavery became — 
"What time the green world from her sleep 

Oped her scared eyes on stranger men — 
Ah ! fated soon blood-drops to weep ! 

Man's foes and Death rejoiced again. 

* After he had established peace all over the world, Augustus 
shut up the gates of the temple of Janus, the year our Saviour 
was born. 



END OF CANTO I. 



C 2 



21 



CANTO II. 

I. 

Man and his earth are sleeping sound — 
The sleep of Peace from bound to bound ; 
And Doom is waking from her sleep — 
Beneath the throne of God, her keep. 
She arms — her urgent march, the sphere ! 

The Scourge * is scourged — and free from fear 

Rome is fulfilling prophecy — 
Rome, Peter's chair, in pastoral domain, 
Realms to her arms denied, her keys retain. 

Great in defeat and victory, 
The Saracen is calm — in lull, 

Storm- interval on land and sea. 
The Errant Knight may flower cull 

For lady fair — and Minstrelsy 
Tramples the sword of Mars. The Moor t 

* Attila.— He died on the night of his nuptials from an erup- 
tion of blood. — Gib. vol. vi. He called himself the Scourge of 
God. 

f Boabdil, 1492. 



22 



Is driven from Alhambra's hall, 
"Without a home, like Adherbal * — 

An exile on his natal shore — 
The Wedded- Crown t triumphant. Free, 
The Russ, J she licks her cubs ; and Gaul 

Hath bless' d and wept her warrior-maid. § 
Britain hath joy'd o'er Glo'ster's fall — 

The White Rose faded— bright the Red. 
Religion weeps — the tares are sown — 
A Borgia || dims the Papal throne ! 

Man and his earth are sleeping sound — 
The sleep of Peace from bound to bound : 
But, in a nightmare dream — what time 

The eyes see ghastly visions — hands 
Or wield or parry swords — sublime 

In baseless flight the soul expands — 
Or pioneers with clanging stroke 

The adamant below ; and bold, 
Nor heed the height, nor sulph'rous smoke, 



* Expelled from his inheritance by Jugurtha, who seized the 
kingdom of Ndmidia in Africa. 

f Ferdinand and Isabella. 

X Russia freed from the Tartar yoke by John Basilowitz, 
1479. 

§ Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans, who saved her king and 
country, and was burnt to death for witchcraft by the priests ! 

|| Alexander VI, 1492 ; a pope infamous for every crime that 
disgraces even a man! A few of his exploits will be mentioned 
in the notes at the end of the volume. 



23 

Nor adverse stars, nor venom' d lands, 
Nor body's peril, spirit's crime — 

Ambition and the Lust of Gold ! 
The watch-dog howls — Awake ! 't is time ! 

■ 
A Messenger of war, and plague, and fire, — 

That makes men doubt a Providence — 
Speeds strong ; for distance cannot tire, 

Pity wrings not, nor furies fence 
Man's good or evil destiny ! 
Two-fold her wrath — two worlds shall see, 
The one, its night — the other, day. 
For Mahomet mid Houris gay 
Sleeps his eternity away : 
But Luther soon shall grasp the sword, 
Bold Reason to her throne restored ! 

And signs are on the deep — bestrown 

With floating things of another clime. 
Uprooted trees whereon have grown 

The grisly locks of ocean's slime — 
The fatal cane was seen ! and more 
Two melting carcasses that bore 
A vulture poised on each — nor torn, 

But piloted as harbinger 
(The deed would be rewarded soon !) 
The Indian to the Christian's bourn — 
And Wisdom scann'd the pregnant boon. * 
» The trees, sugar-cane, and dead bodies, are recorded as hav- 



24 
II. 

Then sped the mighty traveller ! 
By opposition fired — mid the stir 
Of battling rnmour, sped away, 

To find the Deadmens home The day* 

Was that Christ died upon. 

Delay'd 
As though repenting fate betray'd — 
His rudder lost — and leaks invade — 
Refits undaunted — hardens doom, 
And reckless, dives into ocean's gloom. 



Upon a sea where calm and storm 

Might blast or bless alike in vain. 
If spirits rule the elements, 
The ministers of God's intents — 
Each in its own predestined form — 
There Solitude, her peaceful reign 
Establish'd, far from man away, 
Since God divided night from day, 
And Earth of Chaos sprang to life, 
For man the wonder-working strife. 



ing been seen previous to the discovery, brought by the Gulph- 
Stream to the shores of Europe. — Roberts. Hist, of America, 
vol. i. 

* Friday, 3rd August, 1492. The reader will excuse the 
allusion. In the subsequent description, I have confined my- 
self as much as possible to recorded facts. 



Oceans around, and skies above, 

To a fleeing bound they drove ! 

In vain they sink the sounding line — 

In vain they read the stars that shine — 

Sun by day and moon by night 

Only shed a fearful light, 

Like the malignant sprites that pass 

Before the wanderer in morass — 

Or the guilty lights that twinkle bright 

In the haunted caverns of the night. 

Land- weeds float — but never a mark 
Tells of the weed-producing park ! 
Birds are seen — nor bring delight, 
They scream and shun them in affright ! 

The compass fails ! # " Return — or die ! 

" In spirit reach the other sky !" 

Was heard, nor vain the words of strong 

^despair, 
Grim death upon the hopeless deep its care ! 
Seeking land, they water found — 
Cloudless circle winding round ! 
Flocking birds suggest a course — 
Water still a deluge source ! 
" Oh ! 't will not slake the thirst, nor hunger feed !" 
And then a crime of blood the men decreed — 

* The variation of the compass— then first observed. 



26 



Nor Prophet's nor the Minstrel's fish * 
Shall mar the bold assassin's wish ! 

" Give me three suns — no more I demand, 
" To find Cathay, or veer to the land ! " 

He spoke — and twice the sun went down, 
As days of truce to leaguer'd town. 
The other dawn'd — pass'd — set in hope — 
Clouds like a lover's envelope 
Bosom'd the horizontal plain, 
And bless'd alike, nor bless'd in vain ! 
Fresh on the branch, on a billow spread 
A blooming twig show'd berries red — 
Spicy the breeze and milky warm — 
And webless birds around them swarm — 
And evening falls. 

The ship is still, 
As infant in its cradle-sleep, 
Obedient to the skipper's will. 
But anxious watch the pilgrims keep ! 
Aloft, on deck, below — the charm 
Pursues, nor craves, nor suffers rest, 
Till hope be hopeless, or be bless'd ! 



* Viz. Jonas and Arion — the former saved by a whale, the 
latter by a dolphin. The crew had resolved to throw Columbus 
into the sea. 



27 

" 'T will shine !" " 'T will not !" affirm'd, denied, 
Whilst every eye is ranging wide. 
It shines ! 'tis seen ! prophetic beam ! 
The Pilgrim-star of Bethlehem ! 

The morning dawns — the boats are mann'd — 
The cannons roar — the pilgrims land — 
And see the brothers of the carcasses 
The vultures spared, fulfilling Fate's decrees ! 
They claim the Indian's heritage for Spain — 
Mere sight the claim that chains shall long main- 
tain ! 

Children of God they were — nor needed shade 
To mask what purest God so fair had made. 
Their hair, long, dark, and floating on the gale, 
Or drooping gauze-like, Beauty's thrilling veil. 
Smooth was the symmetry, unscarr'd, unlaced, 
Of every supple limb, nor yet enchased 
In whalebone prop or suffocating stay. 
The olive-sunbeams o'er their features play, 
And deck with charms that never fade away. 
They felt the glow of love— their ardent eyes 
Betray'd the heart's unspoken ecstasies — 
Lit up by love, their eloquence divine 
Spoke what they felt— craved not the crimson 

[sign, 
The Whiteman's blush— Love's cruel calumny, 
And type of thoughts that fain would hidden be! 



28 



A God, they had a God, in fruit-tree, flower, 
Breeze, streamlet, blest them with his Mercys 

[power. 
Their wants, few and supplied, each welcome night 
Gave them its bower, blessing, and delight. 
They come with Eve's untutor'd confidence, 
And see the gods ! and hear their vain pretence ; 
And think, if not from heaven, whence the prore 
Ingend'ring fire that smokes along the shore ! 
They grasp the bauble gift, and give their food,* — 
Sufficient now, but soon their nation s blood 
"Will not content the seeming friends, whose hand 
They take in friendship — leave t their fatherland, 
First slaves, to deck the Viceroy's pageant gay 
That saddled the Atlantic wind's relay ! 
They have evanish'd — all, but memory — 
For Time has vow'd that to Eternity ! 
But Retribution shall assert her claim 
Once more — and nations blast the Spanish name 
With lasting scorn ; — her vassals rise — her king 
Become the stranger's mocking-bird, whose wing, 
Broken and pluck'd shall flap its might away, 
For all that thrive by human woe, a prey ! 
"War, anarchy, and desolated fields — 
These are the fruits her old Oppression yields. 

* In return for the glass beads, &c., the Islanders gave them 
provisions. 

t Columbus had on board some of the natives whom he had 
taken from different islands which he discovered. — Robert, b. ii. 



29 



Cortez ! Pizarro ! rise ! your country needs 
Your skill, your reckless cruelty, your deeds ! 
'T is not poor Indians she would have ye slay — 
Them ye have blighted, trampled, swept away ! 
But 't is your brothers now whose gore shall flood, 
Ye care not whose, if 't is but human blood ! 
The priests that sanction'd then,* now bear your 

farms — 
They have resign'd their prayers for War's alarms, 
Their Inquisition, tortures, flaming pyres- — 
Become more valiant than their holy sires ! 
Arise ! regenerate Attilas ! arise ! 
Your arms shall wield the vengeance of the skies. 
Spain shall be done by, as she did — her fate 
Like Montezuma's t — bleak and desolate ! 



* The settlement and conquest of America from the simple 
and divided natives is a great feature of modern history. Gun- 
powder and discipline enabled mere companies of unprincipled 
Spaniards to commit unparalleled slaughters under Cortez in 
Mexico, Pizarro in Peru, and Alvarez in Chili, in the reigns of 
Charles V. and Philip II., who, for gold, connived at enormities 
which the priests sanctioned because the natives were not 
Christians ! In this way, and by Slavery in the Mines, millions 
were rapidly sacrificed, and to supply their places, Africa was 
robbed of its unoffending population.— Sir R. Phillips. 

f The unfortunate king of the Mexicans. He was hateful to 
his own subjects by his despotism, was betrayed by them, tak<m 
prisoner by Cortez, insulted, and his legs put into fetters. He 
died in 1520, from being struck on the temple with a stone, 
whilst persuading his tumultuous subjects to receive the Spanish 
yoke! 



30 

III. 

Christ had bless' d, and blessing died 

E'en the hand upraised to slay — 
By his meekness would he chide 

Those that wander'd from his way. 
Why have Christians murder d millions ? — 

Grasp'd their gold, and sent their spirits 
Up to heaven s cheap-bought pavilions 

Frank'd by Faith's o'erflowing merits ? 

Adding sacrilege to crime, 

Choral hymns, Te Deums, singing — 
And their steeple-bells would chime, 

Triumph of the true faith ringing ! * 
Spain thus fought " the goodly fight ! " 

Sent her Minotaurs to prey — 
Locusts, with a nation's blight — 

Fiends, whose mission was to slay ! 

Children of the Sun ! t ye fell 
Never to arise again ! 

* " In Spain an Auto-da-Fe, (an act of faith,) was an ac- 
companiment of all public festivals, just like fire-works in other 
countries. The Inquisition, since its foundation in the fourteenth 
century, has burnt at the stake above 100,000 persons of both 
sexes, besides destroying twice that number, by imprisonment. 
The wars of the Spaniards to christianize the Moors and 
Americans cost, at least, 15,000,000."— Sir E. Phillip's Million 
of Facts. 

f The Peruvians. 



31 

But your persecutors tell 

How ye battled and were slain. 
God created, they destroy'd, — 

Gold and lust their baleful cause — 
And their king deem'd justice void, 

Falsely pleading Rome's applause!* 

" They are free !" Religion said : — 
" They are mine !" the king proelaim'd. 

" Dare ye thus your king upbraid ? 

" Know, my conscience may be blamed, 

" But the faith they must receive — 
" Ruin break their idols down ! 

* Ferdinand issued a decree of Ms privy council (notwith- 
standing the declaration of the civilians and divines in favour 
of the Dominicans, that the Indians were a free people,) declar- 
ing that after mature consideration of the Apostolic Bull, and 
other titles by which the crown of Castile claimed a right to its 
possessions in the New "World, — that the servitude of the In- 
dians was warranted both by the laws of God! and of man: 
that, unless they were subjected to the dominion of the Spaniards 
and compelled to reside under their inspection, it would be 
impossible to reclaim them from idolatry, or to instruct them in 
the principles of the Christian faith; that no further scruple 
ought to be entertained concerning the lawfulness of the re- 
partimientos, (or distributions, by which the Indians were given 
up as slaves to their conquerors,) as the king and council were 
willing to take the charge of that upon their own consciences ; 
and, therefore, the Dominicans and monks of other religious 
orders should abstain for the future from those invectives, 
which, from an excess of charitable, but ill-formed zeal, they 
had uttered against that practice. (Herrera, Dec. 1. Lib. ix. c. 14.) 
That his intention of adhering to this decree might be fully un- 
derstood, Ferdinand conferred new grants of Indians upon 
several of his courtiers. — Robertson. 



32 

" If not slaves they'll ne'er believe, 
" Nor enrich the Spanish crown!" 

Vain the voice, and vain the tear, 

Holy men might raise, or weep ! — 
Far they fled — no tyrant near 

Where their memories still sleep, 
Guarded by the Indian s blessing ! 

Forests deep and mountain-side, 
Saw them kneel to God addressing 

Prayers for converts sanctified ! 

Blest alike Las Casas came, 

Blest, alas ! like him who saves 
Infant child of Parents' shame ! 

For whose life the mother raves — 
Bleeds and dies a mangled corse — 

Dies — but leaves not better life — 
But a ruin of remorse 

To the child of saving knife ! 

" Slaughter'd herds of Redmen fail ! 

" Scarce the fatal name is heard, 
" Echoed erst in every vale, 

" To their ancestors endear'd ! 
" Better far the black man's arm* — 

" Afric's stronger sons' than theirs ! " 

* The expedient advice of Las Casas, whose pity for the In- 
dians made him (doubtless unintentionally) the promoter of 
African slavery ! — See the Notes. 



33 

Thus Las Casas spake the alarm, 
Pity melting into tears ! 

Foul perversion ! they consent — 

Spaniards grasp the fatal boon 
Though in hopeless mercy meant ! 

Not imagining that soon 
Horrors worse than Indians knew, 

Africa was doom'd to feel, — 
When the Christian thither flew — 

Demons piloting his keel ! 

Likest- Satan fury-driven, 

Seeking man revenge to slake — 
On the brink of shatter'd heaven, 

Gather'd up the leap to take. 
Guardian angels trembling round, 

Dismal ruin sad foretell — 
Down he dives the deep profound 

Sun eclipsing as he fell. 

Guard thy thoughts, frail man ! but more — 

Guard thy tongue ! its words are death ! — 
They are swords, reckless of gore — 

Wielded by an infant's breath ! 
Friends from friends they daily sever, — 

Love transform to carking hate — 
See a nation wrong'd for ever, — 

By a word made desolate ! 

D 



34 



Spain led off the harpy-flight, 

Curst with Crime's success she rose 
Matchless in detested might, 

Mid redoubled human woes.* 
Portugal and Gaul combined, 

In the demon-orgies mix ; 
Holland too, that Christ resignd, 

Trampling on the crucifix ! t 

Not alone their fatal tread 

Thronging o'er the sinful Sea ; 

Slave-trade epidemic spread, 
E'en Britannia, to thee ! 

Oh ! hadst thou stood as Abdiel ! J 
Faithful mid the fallen crew — 



* Viz., the extermination of the Indians far advanced, and 
the persecution of the Moors in full force. 

f In allusion to the conduct of the Dutch in Japan. When 
the persecution of the Christians broke out in that country (by 
some supposed to have been mainly promoted by the Dutch, in- 
fluenced by their jealousy of the Portuguese,) the authorities 
decreed that no foreigner should be allowed to land who did not 
trample upon the crucifix, to testify that he was not a Christian. 
The Dutch were the only nation that committed the crime. A 
crucifix is but an image of wood or metal, but it represents the 
God of redemption. It may be an useless superstition to make 
it — but, when made, it must be criminal to disrespect it. We 
cannot honour God by dishonouring a representation of him, 
any more than our parents by trampling on their portraits. 
What shall we say when such an act is required of us to shew 
that we despise his Christ ? 

% Abdiel " Who durst oppose 



35 

Left the fiends to build their hell, 
Swift to Truth and Justice flew ! 

Aye ! the sin was sinnd !....but God 

Hath vouchsafed thee penitence ! 
Thou hast paid the price of blood 

Shed in fatal ignorance ! 
Hail Britannia ! Afric's friend ! 

Last to crush, and first to save — 
All thy faults thy sons amend, 

Gracious as in battle brave ! 

Avarice pronounced the doom — 

Avarice prolong'd the curse — 
Retribution's muffled gloom, 

Brought the merited amerce ! 
Tyrants and their minions rising, 

White slaves, self-sold, croak'd alarm — # 

A third part of the gods, in synod met 

Their deities to assert." — Milt. Satan's Speech. 

Abdiel had said: " But thou seest 

All are not of thy train ; there be, who faith 
Prefer, and piety to God, though then 
To thee not visible, when I alone 
Seem'd in thy world erroneous to dissent 
From all ; my sect thou seest ; now learn too late 
How J etc sometimes may know, when thousands err. 

P. L. vi. 
* " Periculosse plenum opus alese 
Tractas et incedis per ignes 
Suppositos cineri doloso." 
The ostensible argument of the Anti- Abolitionists. 

D 2 



36 



But their omens thou despising, 

Saidst that Justice ne'er could harm. 

Whilst thy bulwarks on the deep 

Stream thy peerless banners wide — 
Thou hast sworn " No slave shall weep 

Freedomless thy flag beside ! " 
Barter ers of human blood 

Like the famish' d vultures scream — 
Baffled of their ghastly food, * 

As by mockery of a dream ! 

Hail ! it beams, Redemption's Star ! * 

Harbinger of Afric's right, 
Justice in her heavenly car, 

Looms triumphant o'er the night ! 
Afric's tears shall cease to flow — 

Hark ! from every land a cry ! — 
Ah ! that chorus soothes the woe 

Of oppress'd humanity ! 

See the friends of man arise — 

Open heart and hands to free 
All that pine beneath the skies, 

Clanking chains of slavery 1 

* The two next stanzas refer to the Grand Anti-Slavery Con- 
vention of last year. It was composed of the delegates from all 
nations that could boast of the "few that sometimes may know 
when thousands err." 



37 

Every land its tribute brings, 
As of universal man — 

Whilst the diapason sings 
Freedom to the African ! 



IV. 

Now no longer on that shore, 

Where Loango meets the deep, 
Shall the execrated prore, 

Evening watch in ambush keep — 
Lurking like the prowling lynx, 

When he meditates the leap — 
Cautious treads and trembling shrinks, 

Lest his prey should hear him creep. 

Friendship then and love combining, 

In a sweet responsive song — 
Till the midnight stars were shining. 

Warbling alt and tenor strong, 
Wafted by the wooing breeze, 

To the dear delighted ear — 
Oh ! that mingling thrill could please 

E'en the Slaver lurking near ! * 

* " The Negroes," says an Italian writer, " are by nature gay 
and serene. In their own country they are almost continually 
singing. They retain this propensity in slavery;" and thus fortu- 
nately lack one of the traitor's, rogue's, and robber's character- 
istics, according to Shakespeare, " who hath not music in his 



38 



Lo ! the ruffians on the prey, 

Like the sandy tempests move — 
Rush with shackles in array, 

Heartless prowlers on the dove ! 
" Stay ! Oh ! spare my mother ! * Spare ! 

" Bind me ! — Bind myself for her ! " 
" Bind them both ! they '11 make a pair ! " 

'T is obey'd without demur. 

Shall the husband flee from chains — 

Her he loves in bondage leave ? 
If his captive child remains 

Shall the father fly, to grieve 
Hopeless for his stolen treasure ? 

Shall the friend, the lover flee — 
Yield his love to ruffian's pleasure 

Unavenged brutality ! 

Startled — trembling — motionless — 

Terror-fix'd they stand — they yield — 

soul," &c. " The dance is their favourite amusement. Whether 
they thank you for a kindness, or a sweet deed of courtesy, your 
generosity is made the burthen of song. All the African villages 
resound with song ; and after sunset it may be said that all Africa 
is dancing. As this music and dance take place at the same hour 
in all the villages, and the evenings are calm and lovely, certain 
villages at some distance respond alternately to the same air ; 
and the youths and maidens listen attentively to distinguish the 
voices of the beloved." 

* Mungo Park attests their filial piety : " Strike me> but do 
not curse my mother." This pleasing trait suggested the ex- 
clamation in the text. 



39 

Armless agonized distress ! 

As when wolves in watchless field 
Silent in the Sheepfold leap — 

Shepherdless the sleepers rise, 
Scarce awaken'd from their sleep — 

Mangled ere they ope their eyes ! 

Pierced by grief, affection more — 

Tortured equally, but still 
Willing that their ebbing gore 

To the brim the cup might fill, 
Could that penalty be made — 

Ere the fiends indulge the vice — 
Tho' with parting death 't were paid ! 

Love's atoning sacrifice. 



V. 



To the bark the captives borne — 
In a dismal dungeon cast — 

Woes to weep from night to morn — 
E'er beginning, never past ! 

Thoughts of father, mother, brother- 
Tears for little ones afar — 

Thoughts of sister, thoughts of lover— 
Oh ! that soul-subduing war ! 

Soon the human freight complete, 
To their chains the slaves are led- 



40 



Cheer'd not by the words that greet 
Captives on their dungeon-bed : 

Nor the gleam of hope that plays 
Round the culprit in his cell, — 

Tho' his conscience still betrays 
Agony he may not tell ! 

No ! there is no hope for them! 

Coffin d in the Whitemans ship — 
Let them sing their requiem 

Ere the grave's eternal sleep ! 
Wail the wail, and sing the dirge — 

Hapless ones of Africa ! 
Now ye press the fatal verge 

Of your living sepulchre. 



The Dirge. 

Afar ! Afar ! 
We hear the waves dash 

By the dear little shed ! 
Our babes are there sleeping — 

Ah ! soon they 11 be dead ! 

They will smile — they will cry 
For the breast they desire ! — 

They will hunger, and die 
When their weak voices tire ! 



41 

Their mother a captive, — 

Her nest left behind — 
To the winds and the prey-birds, 

Her dovelets resigned ! 

Oh ! what have we done 

To the Whiteman to-day ? 
The tempest was raging, 

His home far away, 
When the Whiteman * forlorn 

Came to rest in the shed 
Of the babes that now cry / ' 

To their mother for bread ! 

Oh ! what has he done 

In return for the deed ! 
By stealth and by force 

Our hearts made to bleed 
For our babes in the shed 
Where he shared our bread ! 

Alas ! Alas ! 
We hear the waves dash 

* Mungo Park. See the notes for the occasion alluded to, 
when he received the kind attentions of some African women. 
In the wilds of Africa the wanderer found a charitable " widow 
of Zarephath ." God is everywhere to the unfortunate. In 
return they cannot multiply the cruise of oil and barrel of meal, 
nor restore a dear child should death steal it away : but God 
will reward even " the gift of a cup of cold water to any of his 
little ones ! " 



42 

By the dear little shed ! 
Our babes are there sleeping — 
Ah ! soon they '11 be dead ! 

VI. 

Now the foaming billows roar 
Round about the Slaver s prore. 
Far must speed the fatal ship 

To the land of Slavery ! 
She must brave the angry deep — 

Plague and Famine's agony ! 

Lo ! he comes the Terror-King — 
Hunger on the hopeless sea ! 

Where no mortal hand can bring 
Food for gold or sympathy ! 

The weeping coast is far away — 

But further still the land they seek ! 
Strong were the gales — they now decay — 

An air, a breath that mocks the cheek, 
Then dies to calm on waves of glass ! 
And not a truant cloud shall pass 
To lend its shade to them that pine 
Upon the hot and bitter brine. 
They count the days — a score have pass'd : 
The ship, as tho' her anchors cast, 
Sleeps on the wave, calm-bounden, fast. 



43 

Soon three hundred mouths grow dry — 

Soon three hundred hungry men — 
Gaze up to God's blessed sky — 

Pray for food — but pray in vain, 
Now the ghastly visage tells 

Fiercest woes that man endures — 
Foes that mortal arm ne'er quells — 

Maladies he never cures ! 

HoIlow cheek and sunken eye — 
Burning tongue and livid lip, — 
Only slaked in dreaming sleep. 

Trembling limbs and beating heart, 

Soon 't will cease its faculty, 

Bid the raving soul depart ! 

Ha ! the maniac laugh begins ! 
Rabid with the rage for food, 
Burning in the quenchless flame, 
Blessed God ! they curse thy name ! 
Thine, the good man's sweetest sigh 
Tho' afflictions round him fly ! 
In life, in death, to thee he clings 
As bird beneath its parent's wings ! 

Aye ! the brain in agony spins 

Waking thirst for Blackman's blood ! 

" Ope the hatch ! " the hatch they ope ; 
" Bring the reptiles from their hole ! " — 



44 



From the fetid hold they grope, 

Few that could their limbs control ! 
" To the deep— or die the death ! " 

Welcome ! welcome ! to the deep ! 
Fatherland ! receive their breath — 

Ah ! their spirits now shall sleep ! 
Deep in Ocean's gurgling billow, 

Christians make the Blackman's pillow ! 

Limbs unshackled, how they clung 

In a moment's fond delight — 
As the evening when they sung 

Ere that dread disastrous night ! 
Husband near the wife once more — 

Friend with friend and son with mother — 
Till the billows eddying o'er, 

Pitying, Afric's anguish smother ! 

Half they drown — but half they spare. 
" Hold ! " the skipper mocks, " Repair 
" To whence ye came ! Bolt on the chain ! 
" Your kinsmen sleep well in the main. 
" Back — foul remnants ! ye must live 
" Recompense for life to give! " 

God beholds the deed on high — 

Guardian Angels shuddering weep — 

Still no lightnings rend the sky, 
Whirlpools rise not from the deep ! 



45 



The Slaver's Song. 

Chorus. " Fill the sails, and bear away ! 

" Merry's the gale the Slaver cheers ! 
" Soon shall gold our ills repay, 

" When the port our good ship nears! 1 

" Gold — the balm for every pain — 

" Lord of Pleasure, and the key 
"Of the Virtue women feign 

" Of the Patriot's Liberty ! " 
Chorus. Fill the sails &c. 

" Holy men confess thy power, 
" Since they crave thee as a dower, 

" When they ope the world of bliss 
" To the soul that goes from this ! " 
Chorus. Fill the sails &c. 

" Gold will satisfy for sin 

" Tho' a Tyrant you have been — 
" Libertine — Extortioner, 

" Cut-throat and Adulterer ! " 
Chorus. Fill the sails &c. 

" Is he rich ? is woman's theme — 
" Is she rich ? man too demands — 



46 



" Who of Virtue ever dream 

" When the blessing joins their hands ? " 
Chorus. Fill the sails &c. 

" Gold gives beauty, every grace 

u Gold can mantle in the face — 
" Makes a villain pass for saint 

" Rids the bastard of his taint ! " 
Chorus. Fill the sails &c. 

" Kingdoms, Politics, Gold sways 

" All their boasted faith betrays — 
" If in hell they had but gold 

" Quenching waters might be sold ! " 
Chorus. Fill the sails &c. 

" Who resists thee ? mighty Gold ! 
" By what power art controll'd ? 
" If you ask what Gold ne'er brings — 
" 'T is a cure when Conscience stings!" 
Chorus. " Fill the sails and bear away ! 

" Merry's the gale the Slaver cheers ! 
" Soon shall gold our ills repay, 

" When the port our good ship nears ! " 

Thus he sang, the Slaver-Chief — 

Bold in recklessness of sin ! 
Thus he mock'd the Blackman's grief 

Famishing the hold within ! 



47 

Still many a morn and many a night 
Pass'd — but port ne'er hove in sight ! 

VII. 

The babes in their cot have wither'd and died — 
Like a rose that grew in a garden-bower, 

The earliest child of Spring — 
It had sipp'd anon of each friendly shower 
That hail'd its blossoming : 
But a blast from the North came rushing fast — 

Poor unprotected thing ! 
With the sun-set eve its glory was past — 
It was left to droop on the thorn beside ! 

The Minstrels have sung ; but not in delight, 

And not of joy the notes — 
For the chorus doth lack its accustom' d might 

As on the breeze it floats. 
The lament was a widow'd mother's moan — 

Alone, and old — she pray'd, 
That the Spirit might save her only son — 

His death till hers delay'd ! 

Then she pray'd a curse on the Whiteman's ship 
That waked God's wrath from its lowering sleep. 
She pray'd that the Slaver might never rest 
On sea or land, — might never be blest 



48 



With peace or joy ; 

But endless annoy, 

And withering care, 

With the spirits of air 

That rule the night 

His rest would blight ! 
She said ; — and the Spirits of Fatherland 

Obedient to her prayer — 
From the graves where they slept, their wings expand 
And sail the midnight air. 



Midnight. — The Skipper and the Master of 
the Watch. 

The Skipper. — " How fares the night ? " 

The Master of the Watch. — " Sad ! dreary wane 

" The misty stars to-night ! 
" The moon is quench'd — and black the main 

" Seems solid cloud ! no light ! 
" No breeze ! " 

" The Watch ? " 

" We keep ! " 
"The Slaves?" 

" Their chains are still — they sleep ! 
"The crew?" 

" Still tortured all ! " 
In vain within their births they creep — 
Sleep soothes them not ! they fall 



49 



Convulsed — a sudden sulph'rous light 

Discovers murder'd men ! 

A moment's rest — again 
Ghastly terrors dim the sight ! 

Moans as tho' of men that weep — 

Restless spirits flitting by 

Rattling chains the decks between- 

Now on deck and now on high — 

Mocking steps of feet unseen — 
Oh ! there is no foe like thee — 

Conscience ! in thy cruelty ! 

VIII. 

Few remain — not few the woes 

Wrathful Heaven showers down ! 
Yaws * and Fever, mingled throes 

Symbol God's pursuing frown — 
Baffling calm and head- wind gale 

Now delay, and now drive back — 
Devious thus the ship must sail, 

Many a winding bout and tack ! 

Noon -day sun blears in the sky, 
Like a furnace comet-fed — 

Radiant intensity 

Torturing th' -eternal dead ! 

* A loathsome ulceration. 



50 



Scorching o'er the waveless main, 

Blue above, and blue beneath ; 
For no breezes cheer the plain 

Of that wide Genesereth ! 
Creaking blocks and flapping sails, 

To and fro they lash the mast — 
Shatter d ere the grappling gales 

Storm them, half the ocean pass'd ! 

" Sluggish winds ! why breathe ye not ? 

" Round the ship the waters rot * — 

" Crawling o'er the matted weed, 

" Boring insects on her feed — 

" If we sink not — food shall fail 

" God of Heaven ! send a gale ! " 

" Lo ! a speck ! it comes ! 'tis come !" 

Aye — 'tis come ! On ocean's foam 
Hark ! he sounds the stark reveille, 



* "Were it not (says Hawkins, the first Englishman wh« 
engaged in the slave-trade) for the moving of the sea by the 
force of the winds, tides, and currents, it would corrupt into 
life ! An experiment of this I saw, when lying with a fleet about 
the islands of Azores, almost six months; the greater part 
of which time we were becalmed. Upon which all the sea 
became so replenished with various sorts of jellies, and forms of 
serpents, adders, and snakes, as seemed wonderful " &c. &e> — 
See the notes, for the whole passage. 



51 

Boreas, the tempest lord ! 
Swelling — dying — distant — nigh, 

Panic-striking, dread accord ! 
Now it bursts, the sullen roar — 

As of famish' d lion when 
Roaming for his cherish'd gore 

Near some teeming cattle-pen. 
" Helm down ! . . . . Stand by the mast ! 



The ship is safe — the squall hath pass'd, 
Her timbers creak' d — she reel'd forlorn, 
In storm-rout by the tempest borne : 
But now as swan with bosom sleek 
Foaming along, her hissing beak 
Now climbs a mount, now skims a vale 
Of ocean 'neath the rushing gale. 

The rapid Dolphins round her fly, 

The Flying-Fish in panic soar, 
A short-lived respite in the sky 
From ocean hounds with flashing eye, 

The Dolphin and the Albicore ! 
With graceful glide and vaulting leap 
Now throng the Dancers* of the deep — 

* The Porpoise, or sea-hog. The sailors amuse themselves by 
striking him with the harpoon. The flesh is rarely eaten.— See 
the Notes. 

E 2 



Now shoot ahead — starboard* — a-lee, — 
Oh ! how they joy their liberty ! 
Yet man, whose cruel sports deny 
The fish its wave, the bird its sky, 
Strikes them when least the freemen heed — 
His only joy to see them bleed ! 

But now the Petrel t leaves the wake ; 
Her home's afar where billows break. 
Her nest the wave, her fate to roam 
Like bubbles of the Ocean's foam. 
For see ! the distant sky is clear — 
The waters round more bright appear — 
The sounding-line hath sunk, and found 
An omen of the joyful sound — 
" Land ahead ! " it glads the sight ! 
" Land ! " from off the topmast's height 
Is seen emerging from the deep — 
Bright as the pearls above the lip 



* Starboard is the right side of the ship, with the face towards* 
the bows ; larboard the left. A-lee is an adverbial phrase, applied 
by seamen to that side of the ship to which the wind is blowing, 
as windward is the contrary direction. 

f A small bird, called by the sailors " Mother Cary's chicken." 
They consider it a harbinger of storm : but in many voyages, I 
have found it as harmless a prophet as the robin, and as playful. 
Its note seems to articulate the words " Weet — weet." It flies 
among the eddies in the wake of the ship, in order to pick up the 
remnants of food that are thrown overboard by the cook, being 
evidently one of the scavengers of the sea. 



53 

Of lovely woman when she smiles, 

A distant hope, and still beguiles 

The palpitating heart, whose beat 

Proclaims the triumph of the cheat ! 

" Land ! land ahead ! " 'tis sweet to hear 

That voice of Hope and still of Fear ! 

Sound whose electric chain transferr'd 

From lip to lip glides to the soul — 
When eager hopes outstrip the word 

With Fancy's wings, and reach the goal 



The past forgot, — home — loves — and crime 
The Convict hails another clime — 
Where penitent, he may reclaim 
The Subject's and the Christian's name. 

From Persecution those that fly, 
Bless with a prayer the kinder sky 
That will respect their treasured creed — 
Nor wish to see God's creature bleed 
For thoughts his mind cannot deny. 

And they that roam beyond the main 
With nought to lose, but all to gain — 
Muse as they tramp the deck, and scheme — 
Aye ! " Land ahead ! " fulfils their dream ! 

The Slave ! what dream has he to bless 
And cheer him in his wretchedness ? 



54 



Tis not for Crime, nor Justice* sake, 
And not allured by Fortune's stake, 
That he has cross' d the sea a slave ! 
And in that word Hope finds her grave. 



END OF CANTO II. 



55 



CANTO III. 



They have torn us from our home, — 
Torn our roots from fatherland — 

Planted us in stranger loam — 

Left our wounded soil to bear 

Nettles and the choking tare ! 

Still they 'd have us bless the hand 

Avarice guides to sow the seed — 

Thankful that they let us feed — 
Thankful that they let us live, 
Galley-slaves without reprieve ! 

Thus their mercy hath decreed ! 



II. 



The remnant of that hapless band, 

Spared by the famine, by disease- 
Are borne unshackled to the strand- 
A momentary glad release ! 



56 



And now the mart of fellow-man ! 

The Whiteman comes to buy his kin — 
Gold glitters in his hand, nor can 

Remorse delay the Slavers sin. 
They ask not — seek not what thou art — 
A man, in flesh, in soul, in heart : 
But what their avarice hath made thee, 
Exclaiming : " God's wise laws degrade thee V 
Therefore Saviourless, if black ? 

Yes — the Slaver deems it so ! — 
Nature hurls the insult back — 

Reason's scorn — Religion's throe ! 

O blest Remorse ! thou angel sent 
By Heaven's God to guard this world, 
Ere final wrath on man be hurl'd, — 

To scourge his soul impenitent ! 

Hast thou no pang for Slaver's breast ? — 
No fury of the midnight hour ? — 

No agony with blear unrest ? — 
Art thou vanquish' d by the power 

Avarice usurps in man ? 

The ordeal of Bondage is begun ! 

All languid — fainting — speechless — wan — 
They make them walk — they make them run 

They feel their sides, their sinews span ; 
As brute beasts, in some cattle -fair, 
The sinewy limb, their only care ! 



57 

Is this the complemental pain — 
The cumulation of that curse 
Fulmined on man's primeval stain ?. 



Yet God himself spoke all the amerce : 
" Since thou hast sinn'd, in sorrow live ! 
" Only by toil, thine earth shall give 
" Thee, fallen one ! her herbage rude,* 
" Since thou hast spurn'd celestial food !' 

But God unmann'd him not ; for firm, 
Irrevocably man, his hand 
Was sceptred still o'er sea and land ! 

As when to each distinctive term 

Man gave, and all t by God's command. 

Instinctive vassals bow'd in thrall, 

Beast, bird, and reptile, humbler all ! 

Thus sacred awe subdues the soul, 

What time the young ambitious moon, 

As daring truant spurns the goal, 
Night-scattering awhile — but soon 

The monarch of the skies appears — 

Sole ruler of concentric spheres. 

For prostrate majesty is still 

Anointed king by Heaven's will — 

Thus angels bend adoring knee 

To Jesu in Gethsemane. 

* Gen. iii. 17, 18. t Ibid. ii. 19, 20. 



58 

III. 

The trial 's done — the price is paid ; — 
Ah ! see the Negro's shuddering frame ! 

Upon his breast the iron laid, 

Brands on his flesh his masters name ! * 

Gash his flesh ! no murmur dread ! 

Ye have bought him with your purse. 
Clip the soul's sustaining thread ! 

Hungry dogs will gnaw the corse. 
Earth will drink the Blackman's blood — 

And your sugar-cane will bloom 
Quicken d by the clotting flood, 

O'er the Blackman's gaping tomb ! 
Sing no requiem for Aim, — 

Ye may mock his agony ! 
'T were a senseless waking dream ! 

As he lived, so let him die — 
Cast away, debased, benighted — 
Flower wither'd, crush'd, and blighted ! 
Semblance only of the race — 
Seeming man but in grimace ! 

Lust resistless, light thy fire — 
Africa will feed the flame ! 

* It may be necessary to state that it was usual in some 
islands (if not in all) to brand the name of the owner on the 
breast of the Negro. 



59 



Gold thou hast, the wanton sire 

Of poor Woman's withering shame ! 
Hear her cries — but heed them not, 
She must bend beneath her lot ! 
Conscience oft may gnaw within — 
But she 's black — it is no sin ! 
For her master thou art made — 
Who shall dare thy right invade ? 
She is thine — is thine by gold — 
Honour — Virtue with her sold ! 

Must it be so ? does he live 
Who such agony can give ? 
Thunderbolts ! why are ye slow ? 

Ye that Sodom sunk amain, 
In that dismal overflow, 

Herald of eternal pain ! 
He lives ! — 
Obedient Nature grants him life, 

Till God's behest of wrath be known. 
Then Retribution bares her knife — 

Then God's just Providence is shown. 
He lives a pamper'd, crippled* mass, 

That Nature is compell'd to own, 
As rank weeds of the drear morass — 

Or charnel-house, its skeleton. 



* Gout, in its worst forms, is proverbially the Planter's 
disease. 



60 

For God, denying grace and love, 
A vagrant suffer' d Cain to rove : 
Nay, set a mark to shield his life, 
Till unrepented crime was rife. 

Then comes the death-bed — test supreme 
Of all the Godless hope a dream ! 

The man is now a man — at least 

He feels that Crime is not more blest 

Than Virtue, when Death craves his feast — 
Alike to Death, the Dove or Vulture's nest ! 

The tree was green — but now 't is sear — 
The lamp burnt brightly — now 't is dry — 

'T was morn — 't was noon — the night is near — 
And " Weep-poor-Will !" # with plaintive cry. 

He sees poor woman's tears, that bless 
All that she feels are in distress — 
He sees his children — Ah ! they claim 
T3ut are denied their father's name ! 
Disown'd !....and still bewail his lot — 
They wring their little hands, and kiss 
The lips that oft in health would hiss 
And curse them with dishonour's blot ! 

* "Weep-poor-Will," or " Whip-poor Will," — a bird so called 
from its peculiar note. Its appearance is supposed by the 
superstitious to forbode a death. 



61 



The innocents are furies now — 

" Away ! away ! — my burning brow ! 

" My limbs are rack'd ! ye goad my pains ! 

They leave him, — but Remorse remains. 



Shapes frightful — each with flaming stings 

Embody all his crimes — their wings 

Outspread, prepared for speedy flight. 

" I did not that !" " 'T was done at night- 

" No witness nigh ! " " Oh ! he is dead ! 

" That theft will never be repaid ! " 

" The Negro's blood is hot — 't is red * — 

" I feel it seething ! Fiends invade ! — 

"Standoff! I 'm not" 

Yes ! he is dead ! 
The pillow sods beneath his head ! 



Thus fades, as fades the passing day, 

Of mortal life, the green and flower ! 
April returns, but their decay 

To bud and bloom hath not the power ! 
" Weep not for us ! " the flowers sing, 
As Autumn wafts them on his wing, 
" For will not Spring restore the wreath 
We leave to deck thy triumph, Death ? " 
'T is Virtue's hope ! Beyond the tomb, 
Virtue's eternal Spring shall bloom. 

* That word serves for the requisite rhyme, but the fact itx 
contemplation requires it. 



62 



Pride stalks its hour — Lust has its flitting joy- 
Ambition schemes and dangles with its toy — 
And Avarice hoards for other hands to strew — 
All, all but Virtue, find in Death a foe ! 
The bell hath toll'd — the pageant 's past — 
What is of earth to earth is cast — 

Then " Dust to dust." Night slumbers o'er 

The good, the bad, the rich, the poor ! 



IV. 



The Morn forgets the Night, for Heaven seems 

To smile upon the Planter, and his crimes ! 
The rising sun, with all his lavish beams, 

Awakes renew'd to bless the western climes — 
Where Avarice, Lust, its parent, Luxury 

Together, hand in hand, may scatter blight — 
And shield the crimes for which the guilty die, 

Whene'er the victim of their crime is white ! 

Still 't is a clime by Nature bless'd, 
'T is Nature's favourite caress'd. 

How glad the sea- ward mariner 

(Whilst trade- winds breathe the friendly gale 

Uniting lands that parted were,) 

Surveys that sisterhood of isles, 

Smiling with Spring's immortal smiles ! 

Seeming to lean against the sky, 



63 



Like giants respited from fight ! 

Aye, giant-monuments they be 

Of Ocean's mangling victory ! 

Not violent assault, but toil, 

And patient mining heap'd the spoil — 

From Cancer's * sidelong summer-track, 

Till Capricornust drove him back. 

Delighted as we feel, and drink the breeze — 
Bright skies above, around the rippling seas, 
And many isles ! Whilst o'er their summits range 
The shadowing clouds, — beneath, the landscapes' 

^change. 
Now lit by dancing gleams, now wrapt in shade, 
The fancy feasting and the eyes delay' d — 
Village and cot, and hill, and valleys green, 
Start up to variegate the magic scene. 

Bicleft or pinnacled, impending hills 
Stream liquid crystal from a thousand rills — 
Their founts above, where endless rivers flow, 
Ne'er cramp'd by frost, nor shrivell'd into snow. 

* The Summer-solstice. 

f The Winter-solstice. The author supposes the islands in 
both hemispheres to have been mainly formed by the movements 
of the ocean through countless ages ; — those movements being 
the effect of the earth's equatorial motion, but in a contrary 
direction and with respect to the poles, viz. borne to, and re- 
flected from the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn, 
alternately. — See the Note. 



64 



Thirst, sea- ward thirst, beholds the treasure sink, 
As gold in miser's purse, to ocean's brink ! 

A tropic Isle is rising from the sea ! 
Athena-like* in martial panoply, 
She fronts the storm with adamant, and keeps 
For foes her culverins where lightning sleeps. 
But friends may pass. The curtain mounts, and 

Qwide 
Displays a Cosmorame on land or tide. 

High ammirals, three-deckers' cannon'd breast, 
Look ready war, and bear their country's crest — 
Protect the peaceful traders, prop of gain 
From many a clime, — Gaul, Britain, Gothland, t 

QSpain, 
The land of " Freedom," and the Baltic main. 
Some steadfast at their anchors ride, and yield, 
Or stow the treasures of the mine or field. 



* Athena, or Minerva. She sprung full-grown and armed 
from Jupiter's brain. The preceding description is of the 
distant aspect of the islands. What follows is the arrival. 
All the islands that the author has visited have forts built on an 
eminence jutting into the ocean. St. Bartholomeic has no less 
than three. The description applies more or less to all the 
islands ; but he has had in view that of St. Thomas, the Liver- 
pool of the Western Archipelago. 

f Germany. The author has taken the liberty to use that 
name, in memory of the conquerors of Rome, under 
Alaric. 



65 



A scene of busy life ! " Hand over hand ! "* 
The Tritons' song re-echoes o'er the land, — 
The shrill blocks scream, the sounding billows foam 
Beneath the prow that preens her wings for home ; 
Or seeks the port, her many perils o'er, 
And cheers the merchant with expected store. 
Canoes and skiffs, with oar or leaning sail 
Contending who shall first the stranger hail : 
Friend seeks his friend, and Industry, employ t — 
" What news ? what news ? " the stranger's first 

£annoy. 
Nor mars Hope's honey-moon ! she bids him stay, 
Smiles virgin-smiles — presents the casket J gay, 
Accepted, but still closed — till wanton eyes 
Are sated with the maid's amenities ! 

Oh ! here Pomona ends her pilgrimage, 
Spreads Islands of the Blessed, a golden age ! 
Peace treasures rest for man, and earth supplies, 
Untax' d, his barns — with gratitude to skies, 
That bless her with their showers and their dews ; 
The fruits man needs her breast shall ne'er refuse. 



* " Hand over Hand!" the chorus-song of the sailors in dis- 
charging the cargo. 

f Viz. Commission-merchants, fishermen, washerwomen, who 
come on board with their respective tenders. 

X Pandora's interesting present to Epimetheus, which cor- 
responds so strikingly with Lucifer's gift to man, and serves 
so well to illustrate the fate of immigrants to the West. 



66 



Content, unforced, to man her golden sheaves 
(The cruel plough unknown) she freely gives. 
Renew'd as man in flesh and blood by food, 
She moults no leaf, until its brotherhood 
Peep imminent, as babes from mother s arms, 
And quaff, to them resign'd, her latent charms. 

Then speeds the periodic flood.* The clouds, 
(As dying saints dissolved, resign their shrouds 
To mother earth, their spirits free, supreme !) 
Again their kindred greet in sea and stream. 
Long was their pilgrimage ! drove back — propell'd, 
O'er screaming wrecks, volcanoes, forests fell'd ; 
Saharas, syrtes, straits, and busy towns, 
Now smiling fleeces, now electric frowns ; 
Convolved, in shreds, a lion, tower, man — 
A trackless continent, and then a span ! 
A gauze that gold, bright blue, and red adorn, 
The veil of drowsy eve and bashful morn — 
And now the tropic waterman ! Descend ! 
Spring's welcome messenger, and Nature's friend ! 
Children of ocean — parents of the streams — 
The sun their father ; — now they screen his beams : 
(As gentle children, wrathful parents oft,) 
He yields the earth to them, and flames aloft. 

* The rainy season. It varies in duration from five to eight 
weeks, during which time the sun is " shorn of his beams," — 
seeming from time to time as if about to awake, but again over- 
powered by drowsiness. 



67 . 

Antagonist electrics free the captive thaws, 
The rumbling thunders roar, andgrowl applause. 
Streams spread to seas, and crannies swell to streams, 
Forget their pebbles and the scorcher's beams. 
Clouds chasing clouds, as thoughts in Fancy's dell — 
Thoughts chasing thoughts, till Reason breaks the 
A nurse to man as Dirce * to a God — [spell. 

To mountains, kingly realms, the valley's sod — 
Sweets to the universe they kindly fling ; 
And now they bloom the tropic Summer-spring. 
A ceaseless flood of joy their eyes have wept, 
Till twice the moon hath waked, and shone, and slept. 
The kind Sultana decks with diamonds gay 
By night her rival, Sultan-deck'd by day ! 
Unjealous still she shines with sweetest sheen, 
Pure as the purest sigh of love serene. 
Attendant Venus, t prodigal of light, 
Leads to her couch the lady of the night. 

One lovely season calendars the year ; 
Unfading Summer dreads no Autumn-sear. 
Summer and Spring united hand in hand — 
The nymphs of Tempe with their choral band. 



* The nymph that nursed the infant Bacchus. 

f That planet is remarkably bright in the West — appearing 
to supply the place of the moon. Indeed the deficiency of twi- 
light is amply compensated by the brilliancy of all the heavenly 
bodies, whose rays find a ready transmission through the clear 
serene atmosphere of the islands. 

F 2 



68 



Fragrance bedew'd the lily and the rose 
In jealous beauty, ne'er their eyelids close.* 

The virgin jasmine woo'd by evening gales, 
Opes her sweet breast, the lover's bliss exhales. 
Whilst constant Heliotrope t with anxious eye 
Pursues her fickle swain, and droops to die ! 
'T is woman's unrequited love ! she swore 
In bliss ; deserted, — still she loves the more ! 

Here teeming Nature wreathes her smiles. From 

[trees, 
From shrub, from vine — the land, the living seas, — 
She generously stores her lap. The vine 
Drips rosy dew-drops from her pendant bine : 
Ananas X yield their perfumes to the sky, 
Their nectar to the feast of Luxury. 

Immortal Plantain ! first a fragment clove, § 
Becomes a tree, and then a thick-set grove ! 
The parent dies, the axe must cleave the stem, 
All useless now — but needs no requiem — 
She dies like Phoenix ! sprouts unnumber'd rise — 
To grow, to teem, to die their destinies ! 



* Blooming all the year. 

f The sun-flower— it closes and droops in the evening. 
X Pine-apples — in the islands they grow in open fields. 
§ Plantains are propagated by small sprouts being cloven from 
the trunk. 



69 

And milk for man, whilst Theobromas * still, 
Manioc t transforms her poison into meal ! 
Guyava J spares the dairy-maid's employ, 
Yields triple sweets, lest daintiness should cloy. 

Crested, in rank and file, substantial Maize ! § 
Man's body-guard, — her trust she ne'er betrays. 
Nor thou unsung, soft vegetable thread ! || 
Here Nature spins thee, Winter's fleece instead ; 
And wayward Taste shall stranger charms bestow, 
Madder, and chilka, fustic, indigo, f 

* The Coco-trees, whence chocolate, the portable soup of tra- 
vellers between the tropics. Theobroma is the botanical name 
(6€oc god ; l3pu)fia food)— in fact it is but another name for Am- 
brosia, the food of the gods, as Nectar was their drink. 

f The Cassava, or Cassada. Such is the poisonous nature of 
its juice, that it has been known to destroy life in a few minutes. 
The Indians used it to poison their Spanish persecutors ; but 
when it is subjected to the action of heat, it becomes a very whole- 
some food in the shape of meal. By boiling, the cassava-juice 
is also made into an excellent sauce for fish. Its botanical 
name is Iatropha. 

% The Guava or guyava is about as large as a peach or small 
pear. It makes an excellent sweet soup or stew, marmalade, and 
jelly, which last is used like butter — a very good substitute in a 
climate where butter is almost always liquified by the heat. 

§ The Indian-corn, or Zea-mays. Two crops are obtained in a 
season ; and six weeks are sufficient for the full growth of some 
of the species. 

|| The Cotton-plant. " Cotton, though it differs but little 
from linen, approaches nearer to the nature of woollen ; and on 
that account must be esteemed as the next best substitute of 
ivhich clothing may be made." — Sir R. Phillips. 

% Violet, green, yellow, blue — the common dies. 



70 

Whate'er thy dress, thine origin the same — 
Thus Charity points to whence her blessings came. 
Though man s best fig-leaf in his fallen state, 
Like homely bliss, too cheap for rich or great ! 
Arise, Pimento * — treasury of spice ! 
Pandora of the grove, without her vice. 
Kiss every gale, and leave the fragrant kiss — 
'T will spread unspent, not waste thy loveliness. 

Here blooms Cahouah,t Amalthea's breast, 

The nymph by grateful Jove with plenty bless'd. 

And here Nicotiana % — fume divine ! 

A gift of Nature — praise be therefore thine ! 

Abused (as Noah's wine) a secret foe — 

But used (as friendship) yields a cheering glow — 

Like soothing Melon, noon's delicious spring ! 

Here reigns the Western Palm § with spreading wing, 

Whose juice is drink, whose jellied pulp is meat — 

Whose interlacing leaves defend from heat, 

And cleanly mats spread carpets for the feet. 

Thine is the cable tugging 'gainst the gale, 

Thy branch a mast, thy fibres weave the sail ; 

A needle from thy kernel's bony rind 



* Jamaica-pepper, or allspice — Eugenia pimenta. 

f The Coffee-tree. Cahouah is the original Arabic — it means 
strength or vigour. 

j Tobacco. 

§ The Cocoa-nut-tree ; all the uses of which are given in the 
text. 



71 

Shall sew it ; — cordage from thy husk shall bind — 
Thyself the bark !....What fails thee but the wind ? 

There the amphibious Mangrove * drinks the brine, 
Still green with healthy sap her branches shine ! 
Where oft the storm-chased Heron t shall recruit, 
Whilst Jew-fish \ bank around her sea-girt root ! 
Lift it — behold the diver all bestrown 
With suckling pearls, — adopted, — not her own ! 

Hesperian apples bloom, and bless the breeze, 

But dragonless, nor need a Hercules — 

The fenceless Orange waits the travellers hand — 

Pomona's emblem in her tropic land ! 

The gentle nymph disdains the cruel Cane, 

In shape a skeleton, and oft a stain § 



* One of the most curious trees in this island (Jamaica) is the 
Mangrove. Its element is the ocean, along whose margin it 
grows, taking root in the sands, and shooting its numerous stems 
downwards, so as to form a thickly-planted natural palisado. 
The depth of water where it grows is sometimes from two to three 
feet, and its height from fifteen to twenty feet. Those parts of 
the stems which are helow the water are often covered with a 
small species of oyster, which explains the paradox of oysters 
growing upon trees. — Steioart. 

f An aquatic bird, that migrates in flocks from the island of 
Cuba. It is commonly called the white galding. — Ibid. 

% I am not able to say what induced the islanders thus to 
christen (if I may so speak) those fishes; they are certainly 
among the " fattest of the land," or rather of the sea. 

§ In allusion to the red streak seen in the cane. 



72 



Of what seems streaking blood, she sees, 
And shuddering departs to kinder trees. 
And well she may ! for in its drying straw 
The hungry Chigoe # broods, and sharps her claw, 
To charnel-house the hapless pilgrim's feet, 
Incautious treading where she waits her meat. 
Nor lacks she speed — for creeping, frequent stride, 
Though short, like whisp'ring Scandal, travels wide. 

But roam the wild, to muse, to see, to hear 

All Nature in her universal prayer ! 

The congregation of the bosky dell 

That hath its king,t its preacher, $ and its bell ! § 

Its sly assassin || in the moonlight clear — 

Its living grave the tropic scavenger ! IF 

Or scent, or sight, unerring guides his way, 

Or thou that art man's father, foul Decay ! ** 



* A little insect, that pioneers her way into the flesh between 
the toes, on the hand, and in the soles of the feet. If neglected 
she soon multiplies, and a putrid sore is the consequence. 

f The crested cassique, Oriohis cristatus. 

% A South American bird, so called. 

§ The Campanero, a bird that perfectly imitates the sound of 
a bell. 

|| The owl, that preys in the twilight or during moonlight 
nights. It steals upon its victim unawares. 

IF The vulture, which performs important services in hot 
climates by devouring carcases that would otherwise be a source 
of offensive and noxious exhalations. 

** " I have said to Corruption, Thou art my father." Job, 
xvii. 14. 



73 

Society, whose wars are ever just, 

Its love co-ordinate, and never lust. 

Its laws unlearnt, still never disobey' d ; 

Each lives for self, and still no trust 's betray'd. 

Distinct, or like, — still recognised by sight, 

Or by a note of sorrow or delight. 

"Words they pronounce articulate and clear, 

A moan — a call — a question to the ear ! * 

But most are silent ; for to them belong 

The blaze of Beauty, not the soul of Song. 

When twilight whispers love, meek Nightingale ! 

What are their splendours to thine artless tale ? 

Thus woman's beauty paints a heartless toy, — 

A leaf of gold on weightless base alloy ! 

The cunning builders shine their life away, 
All rainbow-spectres of the solar ray ! 
Aye fancy revels o'er thine elfin wing 
Unearthly Colibry ! the mine shall bring 
To thee its ruby, topaz, every gem — 
Humming the while upon thy aloe-stem. t 

* A moan — " Weep-poor-Will," is the note of the caprimulgus 
grandis. — A call — " Will-come-go," is the call of the caprimul- 
gus acutus. — A question — " Who are you?" is the cry of the 
caprimulgus guianensis. 

f The Humming-bird. Trinidad is famous for the number and 
variety of its humming-birds. I think thirty-nine varieties have 
been collected, from the size of the humble bee to that of the 
sky-lark, and of the most gorgeous and splendid colours that 
light and shade can produce." — Halliday. They prefer the aloe- 
tree. 



74 

Complacent suns shall burnish all, and Jove, 
Meekly disguised,* shall woo thee in the grove ! 

Thus Nature blessing, gaily walks the land — 
Strewing her blessings, still she fills her hand ! 
"What though the Sun, her minister to all, 
Obedient scorches, reckless, vertical ? 
Her other minister, the cooling Deep, 
Fans gentle zephyrs till her evening sleep. 
Then warmer grown herself, she sleeps in calm, 
Whilst grateful Earth administers the balm. 
For God who gave a colder clime to find 
Where He a comfort for the hearth design'd, — 
Set free, himself, " with healing in its wing." t 
The sea and land-breeze, 'neath the burning Ring ! J 



Thus Nature bless'd — but Sin hath curst the West — 
Transform'd her garden to a house of pest ! 
What seems so fair — the Dead Sea's apples dead — 
That Hunger grasps, but finds them dust, not bread ! 

* The disguises of Jupiter in his amours were very numerous. 
Perhaps the most interesting was the one he assumed to woo 
the diminutive daughter of an Asiatic king : viz. the form of an 
ant. Her name was Clitoris. 

f Mai. iv. 2. 

J The equatorial regions enjoy the perpetual alternation of 
breezes, blowing from the sea by day, and from the land by night. 
The phenomenon is explained in the Notes. 



75 

Thousands deceived — deceived are thousands still, 
Seeking the god of gold ! Perverted will 
Bridges the deep — and soon the pilgrims hail 
His luring shrine — they breathe the incense-gale — 
The golden shower falls ?....Go — see their grave ! 
'T will tell you, Be content with what you have ! 
The digger there (he digs for worms to reap) 
Shall catalogue the sleepers sound and deep — 
Shall catalogue the picture's other side — 
'T is more than other half when sorrows tide ! 
Shall tell you, once dread Dysenteries * gloom 
For warning — twice, forbode thy coming doom ! 
Shall warn you, — if a thorn your flesh divide, 
The fest'ring wound deep spreads its poison wide, 
And wasteful gangrene then, bespeaks your bier — 
Your friends afar, impatient strangers near ! 
Ague, catarrh, swell'd limbs, foul leprosy — 
But all are mercies, pest of pests to thee ! 
From marshes where the venom' d viper sleeps, 
Exterminator, yellow fever, leaps ! 

His helmet is a crannied skull, upon 
Whose hairless arch is seen a vulture darting — 
Flapping his wings, the carrion banquet done, — 
When the keen nerves have ceased their stubborn 

[[smarting, 
And the reluctant soul from flesh is parting. 

* That disease rarely attacks oftener than twice ; the second 
attack is generally fatal.— See the Notes. 



76 

And beaming o'er his outstretched neck, a crown 
Begemm'd and gorgeous — whilst the proud enheart'- 

[ning 

Motto, blazing the night, proclaims Renown 

Unto the Conqueror!.... A bitter, ghastly frown 
Falls from his visage — 't is the freezing chills, 

Shot from a cloud where broods the pregnant Pest 
Arching the tropics — when the seaman feels 

The stagnant blood around his heartstrings press'd, 

And urgent Death to Fever bares his breast. 
Dark booming o'er the land, Death strikes his prey, 

Whilst men are sleeping in a fatal rest, 
As Egypt when the angel pass'd — and day 
Burthens the weeping paths, that wend to Golgotha !* 

What friend will shield thee from the conqueror's 

[]might ? 
Thy gold, in life deem'd firmest, first in flight ! 
Thy kin, companions, leave thee at the grave ! 
Thy works alone, if proof, stand fast, and crave 
(Ne'er lost, but gone before) thy Maker's grace. 
To them in life or death, he turns his face. 

Then wilt thou speed to stranger climes afar ? 
Presume to mount a Phaeton's devious car ? 
Flying from Poverty, thy Pride disdains ; 
Scorn what thou hast — thy frugal honest gains — 

* Which is, being interpreted, the place of a skull.— St. 
Mark, xv. 



77 

Let Passions be thy steeds, thy car Desire — 
Drive trackless, and unmapp'd, through fieldsof fire — 
Thy stars are bright ! Grow rich at once ! Command 
Ships on the sea, and slaves upon the land — 
Have power, and wealth to purchase smiles from all, 
And parasites to crowd thine open hall ! 
Art thou content ? Is not thy pride the same ? 
Nay, loftier risen on the prop of fame ! 
Aye there thy misery began, and there 
It ends in hopeless, canker'd, bleak despair ! 
But grant thy griefs are many, pleasures few — 
Thy lot is mans, if what 's reveal' d be true I 
Hast pined like Job ? Behold his sorrows end : 
Hast wept like Mara ? * — God will give a friend ! t 

Thou art a little fish to swim the deep 
Where mightier ones invade, but God shall keep ; 
Shall screen thy helplessness, or blast their wrath 
Maelstroms for them, for thee a Red-Sea path ! 
A bird He fledged, but gave thee not to know, 
(Else than his general Providence may show) 
Whether on hill, in dale, on ocean, stream, 
Thou mayst be better, though it better seem. 



* " And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi ; call me 
Mara : for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me." 
Ruth, i. 20. 

f " And the woman said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, 
which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his 
name may be famous in Israel." — Ibid. iv. 14. 



78 

Hear not the Syrens of deceitful Pride ! 
Lash thyself fast, the captain by thy side, — 
Contented Reason — where thy God shall dwell, 
And Tobit's * incense dissipate the spell. 
Asmodeus shall fly before thy face, 
If Sarah's humble worth thy pride replace. 
An humble worth, that builds no human hope, 
As avalanche above an Alpine slope. 
Virtue and toil — the surest alchemy, 
If but contented with thy God's decree : 
Millions and Vice will leave thee very poor, — 
Thy millions cannot buy Remorse a cure ! 

Go ! ask the Slaver — ask the Planter — ask 
His jovial sons — Ah ! what they feel they mask ! 
Shall Bacchanalian rout — the fatal dice, 
And loveless concubines, shall these entice ? 

Oh ! better be the Slave, to toil forlorn, 

Than live thy Passion s slave — thy Reason's scorn ! 

Be born to eat, to drink, to sleep, to lust — 

Then as a lamp extinguish'd by a gust ! 

Thine earth unknown, the wisdom of the sky — 

Thyself still more — thy duties, — destiny — 

And most thy God, who, tuning sky and earth, 

Finds thee a screeching discord from thy birth ! 

* As this name occurs in that portion of the Scriptures which 
in considered Apocryphal by some, the text will be fully ex- 
plained in the Notes, should the allusion be not understood. 



79 

By thee, perverted all his gifts ! in streams 
Earth blasted, pestilential poison teems ! 
Gold ! Gold thine aim ! for gold is life betray'd 
To ceaseless, racking toil ; her sweets delay' d 
Till thon art rich enough — thy fortune made ! 

But when the stalk its heaviest load shall bear, 
Glitt'ring its brightest — Summer's scythe is near : 
The reaper comes ! will prayers — will tears avail ? 
Its very fulness dooms it to the flail ! 

The harvest is, as it has grown — or chaff, 

Or bread, — man's footstool, or his pilgrim-staff. 

Still thou art gather'd !....What hast left behind? 
Some gold — a manor, to the law resign'd — 
A wife, perchance, (some venture on a wife — 
For love, good Jacob — Socrates for strife — 
A Rachel* or Xantippe^ still for life! ) 
And children — granted — Nature's kindest gift ! 
Hast weighed the terms, perceived the scope, the 

[drift ? 

* " AndJacob loved Rachel ; and said, I will serve thee seven 
years for Rachel thy younger daughter. — "Gen. xxix. 18. 

f The wife of Socrates, remarkable for her ill-humour and 
peevish disposition, which have become proverbial. Some sup- 
pose that the philosopher was acquainted with her moroseness 
and insolence before he married her, and that he took her for 
his wife to try his patience, and to inure himself to the malevo- 
lent reflections of mankind !— a self-denial most philosophical, 
but certainly most unpoetical, and very Christian in a heathen. 



80 



Hast led them by the hand, to God on high — 
In wisdom creeping, walking — now to fly 
Without the parent-wing, alone, but strong, 
'Mid stormy Poverty and crushing Wrong ? 

If not — why hast thou lived — indulged a crime, 
That thou in death, they must lament in time ? 
The innocents in mental blindness grope 
Their friendless way, — and see each setting hope 
Pass like the rainbow with delusive cheat — 
Oft disappointed, still the spell repeat ! 
Hoping to-day, to-morrow, to be bless'd, — 
A phantom born and dying in the breast ! 
As some poor maiden whose beclouded light, 
Eclipsed too early by a mornless night, 
Dreams of the firmament, its million eyes — 
And hopes that they for her may some day rise ; 
Thinks of the fields, the flowers, and the streams, 
If they are all so fair as oft she dreams — 
Asks if the little birds that chirp in Spring, 
Are all as gaily feather'd as they sing ? 
Thinks that the face of Friendship must be fair, 
Since all her fond heart sees should mantle there ! 
Thus may they live, sweet Pity's cherish'd guest — 
Or roam forlorn in early graves to rest ! 

The father's folly punish'd in the child ! 

'T is even so — God will not be reviled. 

All Nature's bliss is based on laws fulfill'd — 



81 



Man's reproductive laws are not repeal'd. 

The parents in the child regenerate live — 

Both have a lasting heritage to give. 

Co-operating in the scheme divine, 

If they in Virtue, Wisdom, Health, combine 

But ruinously hostile to a law, 

(In which no special pleading finds a flaw) — 

When both, or one deficient, they presume 

To curse with life, anathemas of doom ! 

Or else is wedlock but a trade — its bliss 

A sensual pastime — Prostitution's kiss ! 

The end of holy wedlock is not self — 
A pleasure to be sold and bought by pelf; 
But 'tis a contract Nature signs with thee, — 
And as 't is worded shall thy children be. 

Shame of Humanity — Nature's disgrace, 
The Libertine shall run his lustful race ; 
Desires sated generate disease — 
His mind a wreck — wasted his energies — 
And then shall wed — to germ a Socrates !.... 



The father must be sound — the mother too — 

This Nature needs, to prove her wisdom true. 

For Socrates beheld his sons despise, 

A^ erring satellites his brilliant skies. 

Was it the luckless turning of the dice ? 

No ; — 'twas Xantippe gave them all her vice. 

G 



82 



Man cannot change man's nature. Nature's rule 
Obey'd or spurn'd, she yield's a sage or fool, 
(Vice is but folly) and a tree or dog — 
Man breeds a hound or cur — and shapes a log ; 
But more he cannot do, e'en should he please ! 
The fool, the vicious are imperfect trees, 
Or curs, with more or less of this or that — 
Too dry, too moist, too meagre, or too fat. 
Instruction modifies, Religion clips — 
Still in her stubborn torpor Nature sleeps! 
Then see a Jerome raging 'gainst himself — 
Or Ananias satanized by pelf — 
And heartless Judas!.... 

Still did Christ endure 

The man that preaching miracles could not cure ! 
And God had spared a Sodom, had there been 
But ten just men exempt from Sodom's sin ! 

Examples speak. Perchance these clearly tell 

That vice is not a mere magician's spell 

That we may break or counter-charm by lips — 

" So be it; — it is done !" the serpent slips ; — 

Hands cannot hold it; — round the neck, the legs, 

Living it glides, escapes, and drops its eggs. 

Through generations battling, never slain — 

Its steadfast arsenal, the human brain ! 

" Society lives on," the worldly-wise 

Exclaim ! — Nay, only seems to live, and dies — 



83 



Like rotten stems, with branching foliage bright, 
Where congregate the prey-birds of the night ! 

But Nature needs the Good — a living prayer, 
Their deeds mount up to Heaven — blossom there — 
And shed their fragrance o'er their brothers here. 
Egypt had Joseph — Christendom has Christ. 

When good men fail, all Nature is chastised. 

Her harmony is marr'd, and Discord rules 

The motley concert of misguided fools. 

Ambition, Avarice, lawless Pride invent 

The score of each discordant instrument — 

Whilst Mammon stands aloof, and waves his wand, 

The Corypheus of the Bedlam-band ! 

Then must we banish to the Poet's dream 
The fact, that Nature's bliss was once supreme ? 
That God seem'd all good once, as He remains, 
In spite of fancied and of real pains ? 
Reader of Nature ! 't is from nature's health, 
Not her disease, the child of Pride and Wealth, 
That thou may'st learn the destiny of Man — 
Fallen, but still of God, as he began ! 
Turn to the fields, the skies, the sea;— confess 
That the Divinity design d to bless. 
Nay, what shall seem a curse, his blessing is — 
A medicine to cure thy maladies. 
Expand the noble mind — expand the heart — 

g2 



84 



See Love and Reason link'd in every part ! 
In every part whereon their pillars rise, 
Support God's temple 'neath its roof, the skies. 
Man, the great Pontiff — Love, the holocaust — 
Good deeds, the incense, burnt, but never lost ! 
Since to Creations least, recorded where 
Deeds are the best, the most efficient prayer. 
Preserving and preserved, God's will for all — 
Consuming and consumed, the humbler call 
Of creatures reasonless that live to die — 
Their life a sunbeam, and their death a sigh ! 
Still needed in their little way — to sing, 
To glitter, feed, and serve — Eternal Ring, 
Whose centre and circumference is God ! 

He frowns ! — the lightning strikes — the mountains 
He smiles — all creatures bless his holy name, [nod ! 
Some scathed — some spared — still all must bless 

[the same. 
The means exhibited, the end conceal'd — 
If we were God, the end would be reveal'd. 
But circumscribed in knowledge as in power, 
Whilst daisies sip, but know not whence the 

[shower — 
Whilst daisies thirst, but know not whence the 

[drought — 
Still Man can pinnacle aspiring thought, — 
And trace dispensing God to whence he streams 
The blessing shower, and the parching beams. 



85 



This Attribute, this Nature, Woman, Man — 
Surely enough to fill thy infant-span ! 
Aye, grasp them — bless them, with their many 

£woes — 
Misnamed, since God permits them, tho' he knows ! 
Pain, inner Joy — a storm, a moving rill — 
Feel that, desist — feel this, and bless his will ! 
Thus Nature warns ere to the scourge she pass — 
Then be not deaf, as Balaam to his ass. 
Joy is the rainbow-sign that Nature sends — 
Pain her stern harbinger when Death impends — 
Death, the last blessing of creative might, 
When Man had cancelled his primeval right ! 

Who speaks the cold and withering blasphemy, - 
That fallen Man to sin is therefore free ? 
As well your pardon'd hound may bite the hand 
That spares him with a Master's reprimand ! 
Proceed — M There is no God !".... Then eat and 

[[drink — 
And die — and then to drear Oblivion sink ! 
No hope ! no Love ! .... on blotted clouds to read, 
" The end ! the end of hope, of love, of every 

[deed ! " 
My nature shrinks — or God in me ! that knell, 
Is what sin blazon d on the walls of Hell ! 

Sweet Hope ! Religion s fondest child ! be mine — 
A deathless soul, a God for ever thine ! 



Poor in the things that Misers may demand — 

But rich in thoughts of good, my soul ! expand. 

Be thine to love thy fellow-man — to shed 

The tear of sympathy — to share thy bread 

With all that's Man — and thus to love thy God — 

To bless Humanity, as rain the sod ; — 

Or as a softly flowing spring that stills 

"Where oft the thirsty pilgrim leans, and fills, 

From out its silent but refreshing stream, 

His little shell beneath the noonday-beam. 

Thus, thus may'st thou the Christians pledge redeem. 

Open thy hand, thy God above shall see — 

Shall bless the deed, approve thy Charity ; 

Like the Samaritan unknown, unseen, 

Be Charity thy beacon and thy screen. 

If Man's ingrate, Humanity is not — 

Ingratitude's by selfishness begot. 

Seek not for gratitude — but seek a friend; — 

That friend, Humanity, her aid shall lend, 

When he that stings or blesses thee may fail ! 

Her voice will mount, and with thy God prevail. 

Then Angels shall thy deeds in triumph sing — 

And thy reward from the Approver bring. 

His eye discerns who charitably give 
From those who yearn, Man's praises to receive. 
Be thine to think thy good deed Providence — 
T is theirs to think their mock'ries heathen Chance. 
'No ; — there are Angels walking Earth's expanse — 



87 

Some are to curse, but many more to bless — 

God's own ambassadors to soothe Distress. 

For if they scourge, we bless the scourging rod — 

Since it is softened by the hand of God ; 

And if ye bless us, Seraphim or Man ! 

It is from God alone that bless ye can. 

Pass on, proud Pharisee ! reserve thy deed 
Till men can see and bless thee with its meed ! 
Despise the Beggar's blessing, or his curse ; 
For Pomp and Flatterers reserve thy purse ! 
" He that pities the Poor, to Heaven lends" — 
And thus, the Good Man makes the Poor his friends. 
Be his the maxim, his the hope, the prize ; 
Thine, both the prize and maxim to despise ! 
A day, a month, a year, thy triumph lead — 
Eternity's the term for his decreed ! 
The Vain despised him ; still he walk'd his way, 
And treasured deeds he knew w T ould not decay. 
He flung his bread upon the running stream, # 
Truth told him 'twould return — it proved no dream. 
Just, merciful, he firmly look'd on Death — 
Angels were near, received his parting breath. 
In probity tho' frail — still based above, 
Soaring with love reflected, still with love — 



* " Cast thy bread upon the waters ; for thou shall find it after 
many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight ; for thou 
knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth."— Eccl. xi. 1, 2. 



He spurn d the Miser's gold-concealing sod, 

Resign' d the creature for the creature's God. 

The World's applause he sought not ; — still his name 

Like early love is sigh'd, thrills thro' the frame — 

The sparkling tremor of a heart that feels 

More than the eloquence of lips reveals — 

When words fail thoughts, and only tears can speak, 

And lend interpretation to the cheek 

That glows and fades, and glows and fades again, 

The heart thus alternating joy and pain ! 

The pain that grateful hearts must ever feel, 

Since they can ne'er perform what prompts the will — 

With generous envy of that nohle heart 

That God permits his blessings to impart ! 

Oh yes ! — a good man is Religion's fence — 

The proof that God exists, — of Providence. 

Hope then, forlorn of Earth ! be cheer'd, poor Slave ! 

Earth has her Boaz * — Abraham the Grave.t 



* " And Boaz said unto her, At meal-time, come thou hither, 
and eat of the bread, and dip thy mor*sel in the vinegar. And 
she sat beside the reapers ; and he reached her parched corn, 
and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left. And when she was 
risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let 
her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not ; and 
let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave 
them, that she may glean them; and rebuke her not." — Ruth, 
ii. 14—16. 

f " And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried 
by the angels into Abraham's bosom." — Luke, xvi. 22. 



VI. 

Early a-field the Drivers lead 

The Planter's slaves — unused to toil, 

Save in the dear paternal mead. 

God's evening dewdrops bless'd the soil — 

It gave them fruit. He said " 'twas good : " 

And they were free to sleep and sing, 

And eat God's frugal Manna-food, 

And kiss their babes, and join the ring, 

And trip the merry hours away — 

In dark or sunshine — Virtue's day. 

For God can bless a wilderness ! 

Where'er Love builds her humble cot 
Kind Heaven gives the Savage bliss — 

Love and his food denies him not. 
Ah ! we have known that heavenly treasure ! 

Tho' poor still happy in the wild — 
'T was Heaven's own teeming, fullest measure 

The love that then our toils beguiled ! 

It is not love we feel in thee, 

Cruel, unjust captivity ! 

Oh ! give us to the wild again ! 

The River's bank — the roofless plain, 

With love enjoy'd in Liberty ! 

It was barbaric ; still 'twas true, — 

For Nature breathed its extasies ! 

Root, branch, and stem unscathed it grew — 



90 



It was the ivy 'neath the skies, 
That shares with its loved parent-tree, 
The raging blast, the friendly calm : — 
Earth's least alloy'd felicity, 
Beneath our centenary Palm ! 

Not guided by the Whiteman's light, 
(All clouded by his love for gold) 

Belike we walk'd in savage night ! 

Still, still by Nature's laws controll'd, 

Accordant with our Fathers' creed : 

They said not, " As we say, do you — 

But as we do, do not /".... their deed, 

Their faith and hope were like in hue. 

Ye darken'd on our fated coast, 

Led by the ruthless Fury that pursues 

All Nations like a haunting ghost, 

When Guardian Angels aid refuse. 

Ye taught us to enslave — to sell 

The captive of the Victor's bow — 

Ah ! had we known your distant hell — 

"We never would have spared the blow ! 

But ye instill' d your Avarice deep, 

As poison from the silent steel. 

Ye soothed our consciences to sleep 

Beneath the magic of the seal 

Your Gold stamp'd on the savage breast — 

And then could justify the deed, 

Self-styled the friends of men distress'd, 



91 

Who otherwise, in death would bleed ! 
How felt the Slave that knew her fate ? 
Clogg'd with her chains, she spoke by sighs, 
The tears down gushing as she sate — 
Till frantic grief burst into cries, — 
" There is my country ! " — hers no more ! 

" There I was born ! " The evening fell, 

The night- wind howling from the shore, 
As Fatherland's lamenting knell. 

Still 'twas a hope to Memory dear, 

Tho' doom'd so far to roam ! 
That soon the long-wish'd dawn would cheer 

The exiles from their home ! 
The Brother's ardent wish, the tear 
That Sisters shed as Autumn-sear ! 

Still 'twas a hope, a soothing dream, 

By fond affection fed — 
Aye, 'tlwas the hope of Summer-gleam 

Ere Winter's frost has fled ! 
'T will flow at last the gladsome stream, — 
And all the land with joy shall teem ! 

Still 'twas the hope of steadfast love, 

Tho' distant, still 'twas near! 
Nor winds, nor seas, as Love can rove 

For those we hold most dear ! 
E'er by their side, at each remove — 
In rest, in watching, like the Dove ! 



92 

memory of better days ! 
Why lingerest thou, enduring spell 1 
Can thought supply past Summer's rays 
To them that in North Winters dwell ? 
Wherefore recall a bliss that's fled ? 
'T is strewing flowers on the dead — 
'Tis watering a wither'd tree — 
To dream of bliss in misery ! 

And yet what sorrow can efface, — 

Poor Mother of that hapless race ! — 

That memory so sweet, so dear, 

That once thy little ones were near — 

Were thine ; and thus were happy, free ! 

Slept on thy breast, play'd on thy knee — 

Hung on thy lip, — their father nigh, 

His arm all insult to defy ; — 

His heart, a father's, to provide, 

To love, instruct, to cheer, to chide ! 

But spare the vain delusive sigh, 

Its echo will be mockery ! 

Tell weeping angels all thy woe — 

Tell kindly spirits as they roam 

What time the midnight lamp shall glow- 

They will lament thy ruin'd home. 

But let thy master ne'er descry 

Thy falling tear, nor hear thee sigh. — 

Poor captive bird ! of freedom dream, 

Then wake and weep the real tear ! 



93 



Aye, 't is like thine, her requiem ! 
Her lot is thine — for should she rear 
Her little comforts 'neath her wings — 
And fill their open beaks, and hear 
Their grateful chirp for what she brings, 
Each, ere it cease to need her wing — 
Ere it hath learnt its note to sing — 
Each, one by one, is torn away ! 
Disjointed love ! — one member here — 
Another there, and everywhere 
But 'neath her wing, where it was bless'd 
With love and care, — its mother's breast ! 
Aye, thus to thee, a mother's name 
All joyless, hopeless, never brings 
A charm, as tho' from God it came ! 
It yields what e'en the father stings, — 
To expiate its parents' blame ! 
Breathed with a curse, its fatal breath, 
Maranatha ! from birth to death ! 

O Mother's love ! tho' ills betide, 
Blessing and blest — the mother's pride ! 
Thy well-known hand, thy melting eyes 
That sweetly soothe thine infant's cries — 
Thy sweet lips quivering as they speak — 
Thy care, pale, tear-dew' d, anxious cheek - 
Thy throbbing heartstrings' fitful beat, 
That echo from thy love's retreat ! 
Sweet guardian angel Nature gave 



94 



My cradled helplessness to shield, 
Singing the while a soothing stave, 
'Till all my little woes were heal'd. 
Thine own blest milk indulged, to prove 
That thou wouldst merit all my love. 
Nor fear d that God would fail to give 
Strength for the strength I did receive. 

Oh ! those dear eyes were like the rays 
Of calm clear Moon, 'mid stars above — 
What time her full bright orb displays, 
Brilliant, 'mid brilliancy, her sheen. 
Their brightness, love ; in bliss, serene — 
Unchanged in grief — but then unseen, 
The tear-drops telling how they glow'd — 
Tho' all beclouded, overflow'd ! 

Mother's love — mysterious tie — 
Stronger than Death ! to thee I cling 
"With firm, with soothing memory, 
'Mid all the shafts mishap can fling ! 
Remember' d, oft remember'd still, 

If thy sweet name is e'er forgot ! 

Dreams, blessed dreams oft bring thee near- 

1 see thee stand beside my cot — 
I see thy smile, thy voice T hear, 
And feel thy hand that often bless'd 
Me, ere I laid me down to rest. 

Sweet words thou speakest — till the night 



95 

My only day, dawns vacant light ! 

Far, far away, I heard thee not, 

Resign'd in death to Heavens will — 

When love restored its treasured thought, 

And thy blest fervent lips pronounced 

The Orphan's blessing ! . . . . 't was announced 

By strangers, in a stranger land ! 

Ah ! was it not thy last command, 

" That I should love my God — be just, 

u And thus in Heaven's protection trust !" 

To thee my soul in anguish flies ; 
For thou canst soothe my miseries. 
To think of thee can bring relief; 
At thy remember'd smile, my grief, 
By Hope's anticipation, dies — 
Hope pointing to yon better skies — 
To be with thee, and led by thee, 
With angels in Eternity ! 



END OF CANTO III. 



97 



CANTO IV. 



They cry to thee, O God ! the mother cries — 
Her children and their father cry to thee : 
Help ! help ! Lord ! from thy all-pitying skies, — 
In Man they find nor help nor sympathy ! 

Now upon yon burning hill,* 
Marshall'd at the Driver's will,t 
Spreads the Gang J in rank and file — 
Hark ! the crackling whip the while ! 

* These verses describe a scene which the author contem- 
plated from the sea, whilst sailing to one of the islands. He was 
then but a child of fourteen, and eleven winters have passed 
away: but he still remembers what he felt when he beheld the 
African in the land of bondage, bearing the burthen and the 
heats for the cruel Egyptian. 

f The driver was the leader of the slaves at work. He was 
generally a negro selected cunningly for the strength of his arm 
and his want of sympathy for his fellow-sufferers. When such 
unnatural savageness is its consequence, can Slavery find an 
advocate ? 

X A band of Negroes was called a gang. 

H 



98 



There they toil and melt away 
On that scorch'd Aceldama. 
Chieftains of Mandingo's court, 
Now a menial's mangled sport ! 
Men whose stalwart arm in war 
Made the mother quail afar 
For her sons that braved their might, — 
Whose toil in Freedom was delight, 
To wield the spear in chase or fight — 
Now turn the glebe with spade and hoe, 
Writhing the while beneath the throe 

Of the man-debasing scourge ! 
And women too ! they sing the dirge 
That Exiles sing to solace pain 
When Home will ne'er be seen again ! 
Tender maidens, children, all — 
All that blackness with its pall, 
To the Whiteman's fiendish eye — 
Shrouds with the badge of Slavery I 

'Tis not the burning hill, the field, 
The spade we are compell'd to wield, 
That we lament ; for toil is meet : 
Contentment makes its bitter, sweet ; 
But that we toil — for ever toil — 
Another comes and reaps the spoil ! 

To-day we see the Whiteman poor — 
To-morrow dawns — he leaves the shore, 



99 



With coffers full, and freighted ships ! 
We sow'd, and he the harvest reaps ! 

What solace soothes the broken slave ? 

What blessing that man's Maker gave 

To be a compromise for pain 

Till man be justified again ? 

To live for toil, by toil to die ! 

And still what hope in yonder sky ? 

He lives not as his fathers lived — 

He cannot hope to be received 

With welcome in their home on high ! 

What have ye left him then ? To sigh 

Thro' life in hopeless agony — 

Then, with the Christians name appear, 

The Christian's penalty to hear 

For deeds undone, committed sin ! 

Oh ! may he thus his conscience screen ? 

" By day the drought, by night the chill* 

" I bore, and did my Master's will. 

" Each hour of the live-long day 

" I toil'd for him — what time to pray ? 

" For sleep, for food, short time he gave ; 

" To pray I durst no moment crave; 

" The Driver's bell would be obey'd — 

" Or else the lash was not delay'd. 



* " In the day the draught consumed me, and the frost by 
night; and my sleep departed from my eyes." — Gen. cxxxi. 40. 

H 2 



100 



" Six days it rang — the seventh ceased — 

" Then from the field I was released. 

u I heard the Church-bell's sound — to me 

" It was a sound of mockery ! 

" Six days were his — the Parson's one — 

" The Slave's, from birth to death, was none ! 

" From toil the beast was respited — 

" He laid him on his grassy bed ; 

" He could enjoy that Sabbath-rest — 

" For one day's peace his Maker bless'd. 

" And thus I was ! * Like him I fared — > 

" The Sabbath to my cot repair' d — 

" Forgot my master and his rod — 

u What did I know of Thee, my God ! 

" True it was man that me oppress'd, 

" But then I saw my tyrant bless'd ! 

" As tho' his crime was no offence — 

" A cherish'd child of Providence ! 

" I thought him so. In ignorance 

" Of Truth, Religion, and of Thee, 

" I envied his prosperity ! 

" I saw no difference between 

" Me and the Whiteman but the skin. 

" If I was lustful — so was he — 

" My wife, my daughters, forced from me — 

" Without remorse or penalty ! 

" He was the sampler of my pride — 

* " Thus I was."— Gen. xxxi. 40. 



101 

" But all his claims were ratified. 
" And Avarice ! ah ! 'twas his sin — 
" Or else a Slave I ne'er had been ! 
" O let the woes of Slavery, 
" Merciful God ! now plead for me. 
" I err'd — but mine not all the blame ! 
" To me thy Gospel never came — 
" I knew not that my Saviour died 
" For crimes my master justified ! 
" Thy wrath was all I ever knew — 
" All else appear'd but words not true ! 
" If e'er thy holy Name I heard, 
" 'T was coupled with a cursing word — 
" He call'd on thee to curse my soul,* 
" Whilst he my body could control ! 
" My will was his, and his was mine — 
" All that I was, forced to resign — 
" He was my god, as gold was Ms — 
" He knew, not /, thy dread decrees ! " 



II. 



'T is sunset. Twilight's interlude 
Hath waked the Cricket from her noontide dream. 

* In allusion to the common formula of a curse : 
" There is a prurience in the speech of some — 

Wrath stays him, or else God would strike them dumb : 
His wise forbearance has their end in view — 
They fill their measure, and receive their due." 



102 



Now swarms the pestilential brood, # 
Rising as exhalations from the stream — 

The lancet-insects of the night ; 
The Fire-flies t in bridal ardours gleam ; 

Now glads the Owl, returning sight 
'Mid brooding darkness round. 'T is like the beam 

Of hope, that lends an hour its light ! 

And now the Vampire J flaps his hungry wing — 

The clotted gore befouls it still ; 
He meditates what fare this night shall bring 

On stream, in dwelling, or on hill. 

Now from his lair the Jaguar § howls, — 
The thickets tremble, and the weak ones shrink ; 

They ken the Prowler's warning scowls. 
The Crocodile || hath left the river's brink, 

And lives his other life once more — 

Half in the stream, and half on shore. 



* The Mosquitoes. They are very partial to the human blood, 
which seems to be their chief support. 

f The Fire-fly is a small beetle, which emits a beautiful 
phosphoric light from the under surface of the terminal seg- 
ments of the abdomen. It may be called the Glowworm of the 
West. 

% The South American Bat. It attacks both men and the 
lower animals, and sucks their blood during sleep. 

§ The South American Tiger. 

|| The Alligator or Cayman, which is amphibious, as expressed 
in the text. 



103 



'T is mingled strength and weakness all ! 
The hunter and the hunted — joy and woe — 

Poison and bread, sweetness and gall — 
Then death. — Behold, poor Slave ! thy world below ! 

Midnight hath brought his short reprieve ; 
The million suns of other spheres arise, 

To widow'd Night their glories give — 
Distant, but real, as Virtue in the skies. 
Remnants perchance of centric suns that were 

To Planets from their centres rent — 
Twinkling as dying lamps, from sphere to sphere, 

Till all their energies be spent ! 

As care-worn vigils watch their hour, 
They seem to weep their light upon the main, — 

Belike a dear memorial shower, — 
Till they shall sleep within her breast again. 

The waves flow on ; now swift, now slow — 
A tuneful rippling, ceaseless wandering — 

Whither they know not, still they flow — 
Great fount of Life to every living thing : 

Awhile they glitter as of silver bright ; * 

* In most parts of the Atlantic, the waters become luminous 
at night, owing to the phosphorescence of certain animalcula* 
particularly the Medusa. In the Gulph-stream this appearance 
is often continuous, but in the Caribbean sea it is so only at fixed 
seasons. Generally the waves exhibit that phenomenon only 
by being agitated — I have often seen the long furrow of the 
ifhark in his deadly chase. 



104 



A bubble bursts, — dim blue again ! 
There ! see the famish'd Shark ! rapid as light 
He darts — the Tiger of the Main ! 

Hark !.... 'tis the evening gale, whose symphonies 
Prelude her concert with a key-note sweet ; 
The wood-nymphs wake, each from her day's retreat, 
Charged with the fragrance of a thousand trees. 
Sing on, sweet Minstrels, Nature's roundelay — 
Sweet to the Mariner by calm delay'd — 
Sweet to the Pilgrim on his lonely way ; 
*T is sweet to all, that welcome serenade — 
E'en to the Negro in his cot ! 

Fo Rnow, perchance, he dreams his short-lived dream ! 

The field, the lash, his chains forgot, 
Once more his spirit, free as torrent-stream, 

Roams as he dreams, in Fatherland ! 
The hunt, the evening-song, the feast, his home, 

His spear, his bow, the warrior-band, 
Once more are his ! Now may the Hunter roam 

In native nerve regenerate, 
Thro' wilderness, where basks the forest-king, 
His stripling cubs around him gamboling — 

Unconscious of impending fate ! 

The cry is up ! with tempest-crash 
He clears the thicket — lifts the ardent spear — 
It twangs — he sees the deadly gash — 



105 



Shouts Victory ! awakes a slave ! to hear 

The Driver's bell — his curse — to feel 

The cleaving gash his dreaming prowess gave ! 
Himself the hunted, — and the steel 

He wingd, the lash, — his fury to the grave ! 



III. 



The Planter too awakes ; thanks God for rest 
That gives him strength to torture still — 

The prey-bird rises from his gory nest, 
Again his craving crop to fill — 
He walks his field — surveys the mill : * 

Computes his promised treasure, counts his gains : 
Dreams waking of his future wealth and fame, 

When Gold's resistless charm, from princely reins 
Shall crown him with a wife of titled name!.... 

What tho' a beggar t he began ? 
And voiceless murders still accuse ! 

He dies a wealthy, proper man ! 
His spendthrift sons his gold diffuse 

With Retribution full and just. 
One dies a villain — one a pauper dies ; 

And not a " friend ! " shall strew the dust, 
And say " God rest their souls! " and close their eyes ! 



* The Sugar-mill. 

t This supposition, $C., are suggested by facts. 



106 



Anon God shatters with the lightning's fire ; 

But ofter as a sapping rill — 
Silent, but sure, his deeply delving ire 

Scoops out the under-fabric, till 
A stretching cobweb snaps, — it crashes down, — 

And ruin epitaphs Belshazzar's crown ! 

Justice exults, but Pity weeps ; 
For human misery, tho' justly weigh'd, 

Her sympathizing sorrow keeps. 
*T is Justice still — the Tyrant's debt is paid ! 

They drank a hatred of our race, 
E'en with their mother's milk — all claim denied 

Of kindred origin. The Gorgon's face 
Had struck their stubborn hearts and petrified 

The human sympathies ! — we bled, 
They joy'd ! — we pined, they thrived ! — we died, 

The murder could be justified ! 
For Avarice is wise. They said : 

" 'T is writ — 'tis writ ! they are accursed ! 

" Cam begot them, Vagrant erst. 

" Now they pay the penalty 

" For their Father's shameful sin. 

" They fulfil the prophecy — 

" Things must end as they begin ! 

" Curst in mind no less are they, 

" Bound by laws not understood, 

" Unenlighten'd by the ray 



107 

" Of that Grace, Christ's saving rood, 
" Beam'd to change our night to day ! 
" No ! — they have no soul — they live, 
" They eat and drink, and profit give — 
" Like the herd — if they refuse, 
" We have treadmills and the whip — 
" Frequent stripe, and frequent bruise, 
" Scanty food, and scanty sleep ! 
" If we err — we err by Fate — 
" Visiting God's penal hate ! "* 

IV. 

And is it thus that God hath will'd to be 
The creature quicken' d by his bounteous breath ? 
Fore-destined to his blest felicity — 
And dearly ransom'd by the Saviour s death ! 
Lamb not despised by Him of Nazareth t — 
Whose all-embracing love still craves that soul 
For whom He bled, the Heathen's lash beneath — 
Captive and tortured in the Fiend's control^ — 
The true Azazel,§ doom'd for Man, from Pole to Pole ! 

* Such are the opinions and sentiments which I have heard 
repeatedly alleged in extenuation of Slavery ! — 
" So spake the fiend, and with necessity, 
The tyrant's plea excused his devilish deeds." — P. L. iv. 

f " Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none." — John, 
xviii. 9. 

X " This is your hour, and the power of darkness." — Luke, 
xxii. 53. 

§ The Aza'zel or Scape-goat, which was offered for the sins of 
the people, — evidently a type of Christ : — 

" And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the 



108 



Captive alike are we, and cruelly bound — 
And scourged until the tortured soul hath fled 
To where relief of agony is found — 
In Jesu's breast, who for example bled, 
And number'd was for Man among the dead ! 
Consoling thought ! that God did not disdain 
This poor fragility as man to wed. 
O sweet example of enduring pain ! 
Unrecognised among his own — betray'd, and slain ! 

And still what meek forgiveness he display'd ! 
He that was. God — obey'd by Cherubim — 
In all the majesty of God array' d — 
Crown d King upon the eternal throne, whose brim 
Is pillar d on Infinitude ! the theme 
Of whose immensity all angels sung 
Ere Earth began — ere Sun and Stars could gleam 
Glory accumulate his works among — 
And wonder of wonders, Man, upon his Earth was flung! 

In splendours of the Saints, ere light begot — 
God of great God, by angels first adored — 
Beneath the angels now in humbler lot, 



live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children 
of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting 
them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the 
hand of a fit man into the wilderness. 

" And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities ixnto 
a land not inhabited : and he shall let go the goat in the wilder- 
ness." — Levit xvi. 21, 22. 



109 



Beneath his own created, He is lower'd, 
Who above Seraphim in ardours soar'd, 
Towering in dread ubiquity sublime, 
And where none else could see his glories stored 
Now comes, the pure ineffable 'mid crime — 
Now comes a weeping man, a helpless thing of Time ! 

Imagination stands aghast — her wing 

Is paralyzed ! for on the gaping brink 

Where shuddering Nature trembles for its being, — 

She stands. One step beyond — her wing shall sink 

Annihilate ! there ends the finite link — 

Beyond is GOD ! 

And why do I now see 
A God, flesh as my flesh, — in pain to shrink — 
To hunger as I hunger — and to be 
As I, the scorn of Man, of Hell a mockery, — 

And cavern'd in the doleful shades of Death ! . . . 

'T is writ : u For love of me ! " * . . then I adore 

In love, and love in adoration. Breath ! 

Give words ; wing them ye Seraphim from shore 

To shore — Saviour, my God ! for evermore ! — 

I sat in sorrow and the paths of night — 

Was bound in chains, an exile spurn'd, and sore 



* " Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down 
his life for his friends." — John, xv. 13. 



110 



With many wounds ! Pitying thou didst alight, 
To save, and I was blind,thougavest my eyes their sight ! 

Thyself with me wouldst grieve, or cure my grief, 
And I was guilty — thou wouldst bear my sin ! 
Where was my woe, thou didst not bring relief? 
God of the Publican and Magdalen — 
Of her who an adulteress had been — 
Of him who cruelly denied thee thrice — 
Of him who kill'd thy sheep with reckless spleen — 
Of him expiring with the stain of vice, 
But penitent, rose bright with Thee to Paradise ! 

And what has Man return' d for all his love ? 
God gave the bird its nest, the fox its hole — 
Man sends his God a wanderer to rove — 
Denies him food — cheers not his pining soul, 
When the big blood-sweat-drops of anguish roll 
Adown his shrinking flesh ! He sees him ta'en 
With a perfidious kiss — in stern control 
Of cruel men, that bind his limbs in pain, 
Thirsting to drink each drop that leaves its ebbing vein ! 

He sees him dragg'd as culprit, guilty, foul, 
Thro' those same streets where he triumphant came. 
He hears the rabble's angry changeling howl, 
Erewhile they sang Hosannah to his name ! 
Oh ! what a thing is Man's deceitful fame ! 



Ill 



And on that night, meek Heaven ! what things befel \ 
They veil'd his face, they struck, they spurn'd, O shame! 
Where wast thou on that bitter night ? O Hell ! 
Hadst thou, in holyday, set free thy myriads fell ? 

And what a morning came ! In mock debate, 
Proofless condemn' d ; the guiltless yields, they bind; 
"Weak Pilate strives to compromise his fate — 
To shield himself, the innocent resign'd ! 
The Lictors scourge until no strength they find 
To wield the insatiate remorseless lash — 
Only necessity can make them kind ! 
And then the shatter'd remnant down they dash — 
An universal bruise — an universal gash ! 

Who but a God could suffer with such strength ! 
Such fortitude — such meekness ! Oh ! the peace 
That sleeps upon that forehead's breadth andlength ! 
The resignation craving no release — 
Nay, rather supplicates to feel more pain ! 
For suffering boundless proves his boundless love — 
His eagerness the Father's will to please ! 
He is oppress' d — no lips of anger move — 
He is reviled and scoff'd — but He doth not reprove ! 

As some meek dove from off her little brood, 
When captived by the fowler's hand, nor strives 
Nor screams, but freely bleeds her guileless blood, 
When to her heart the hungry knife he drives — 



112 



As voiceless lamb that by its mother thrives, 
The butcher to the slaughter drags it, kills, 
Disparts it to be gash'd by other knives — 
Thus is He struck, and thus his life-blood stills, 
His flesh a feast — for all that thirst or hunger feels ! 

" Behold the Man !" weak Mercy cried. The thorn 
Deep in his temple dives. In tatter' d shred 
Of purple — sceptred ; then the words of scorn : 
" Behold your King ! " "Away with Him they said, 
" Or thou shalt answer for the traitor's head ! " 
" "What hath he done ? His blood be far from me ! " 
" Be it on us — our children ! " . . Forth they led 
The sacrifice. A stranger bore the tree, 
As Isaac, for the lamb they drive to Calvary. 

Break forth, Heaven ! a lamenting wail; 
A God — your God ! is dying on the tree. 
They drive — they drive the sinew-cleaving nail — 
Hear the fell blasphemy of fiendish glee — 
They revel in his torments cruelly ! 
List the rude shock, as in the hole it falls ! 
Hasten, ye Powers ! fly — fly — to Calvary — 
" My God ! my God ! " a God for succour calls — 
In vain ! an echo mocks from cruel Zion's walls ! 

His head lay on his breast, — his breath was fled ! 
The sun drew back his light, — the temple rent 
Its shuddering veil, — the Grave gave up her dead, 



113 



And to behold their God her spectres sent — 
They stood aghast in dread bewilderment. 
The Earth crept trembling thro' the troubled space, 
As tho' her strength was paralized and spent ! 
But God in Heaven beam'd a smiling face, 
For He was satisfied— ransom'd the captive race ! 

Gentile, rejoice ! the chosen are despised, 
And thou shalt have their great inheritance ! 
Rejoice — the prophecies are realized ! 
As wide as universal Earth's expanse, 
The glories of thy Saviour's cross shall glance, 
And thou art chosen bearer of bis Name. 
His mighty name shall be thy conquering lance — 
Thy bolts of war, his own pure virtue's flame — 
Thy battle-field, the land of Israel — Wodin— Brahm. 

Archangels bear upon triumphant wings 
Now the glad tidings, Fatherland, to thee ! 
Christ Jesu from the opening Heaven brings 
Redemption — and proclaims the just decree 
To all the bondsmen of his family. 
Wake, now thy debt of woe is duly paid, 
Paid like thy Saviour's, vast in misery ! 
And now thy lash, thy cross, and thorns are laid 
On Calvary, beside his own thrice-hallowed ! 

Friends of Humanity, the Blackman's Friends ! 
Ye that with toil 'mid Persecution's rage, 

i 



114 



An Eastern Star from every region sends, 
Redemptive war 'gainst Afric's foes to wage — 
Your Hope's in Heaven, for Man your pilgrimage ! 
Like his,* who with his God thro' kingdoms ran, — 
Darting with eagle-glance thro' every age, — 
With Love's deep, high, long, broad, immortal spant 
Eager to grasp, where'er 't was found, whate'er was Man ! 

Granville and TVilberforce ! Angels on high, 
That chorus round God's everlasting throne, 
And from the realms of immortality, 
Can pity as ye hear the Exile's moan — 
The chain- clogg'd Captive's sigh, the widow's groan 
Swell the Hosannahs of your evening lay, 
And let their names the melody intone ; 
They fought, and won the welLcontested day — 
Ramparts of Freedom — friends of hapless Africa. 

Regenerate in their Followers they rise — - 
Tripled and quadrupled, in firm array — 
Resistlessly they move. And now the skies 
O'er promised Canaan brighten into day — 
A veteran Patriarch J still points the way, 
Directs the battle-field. Denied the spear 



* St. Paul. " I am made all things to all men, that I might 
by all means save some." — 1 Cor. ix. 22. 
f Eph. iii. 17, 18. 
£ Clarkson in the Grand Convention, 



115 

Like Israel's Chief in reverend decay, 
He now beholds, from Pisgah, Jordan near, 
Sees Judah' s Lion* couch till Shiloh shall appear. 
■ 
The distant vision his — be thine the boon, 
Auspicious Youth ! t to see the Nation rise, 
High in ascendant, Orb with Belt, and Moon, 
As Jove imperial. In Council wise, 
A realm united by fraternal ties — 
The Stranger's homage, and her children's love — 
Establish'd Peace, the prop of just emprize — 
Peace, from the Deluge of her thrall — the Dove, 
Whose olive-branch shall bloom, and shade Religion's grove. 

• 
Such was the land pre-eminently free ! J 
What is her Freedom now ? A Comet's beam — 
A Madman's frenzy — idiot's mockery — 
A shadow flickering o'er the sleeping stream, 
A nothing, like the tinsel cheat of dream ! 
Or a tyrannic, treacherous, tiger's rage, 
Whose blood-stain'd eye-balls o'er the Blackman gleam. 
Whose fangs have gnaw'd his heart from age to age, 
Crushing alike the hand that would his pangs assuage ! 



* " Judah is a lion's whelp, &c. he couched as a lion, and as 
an old lion &c. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, &c, 
until Shiloh come." &c. — Gen. xlix. 9, 10. 

f Mr. Clarkson was accompanied by his grandson. 

X The United States of America. 

i 2 



116 

Such is the land that Freedom, as her child, 
Nurtured and cherish'd from its cradle-hour : 
Or as an Eagle, to its flight beguiled 
Her thriving scion, then unfledged, with power, — 
But soon with conscious might usurps her dower, 
Supreme in wide indisputable reign, 
Afar from Winter's ice-battalion d tower 
To the low deep, where, in his storm-domain 
Intrench' d and castled, rolls her king, Leviathan ! 

The land of Forests, pillars of the sky — 
Children that saw their mother-nature's birth, 
Doom'd not until with dying Time to die, 
Ne'er scarr'd by steel since the first day of Earth, — 
"Whose pedestals primeval rocks begirth, 
Uplifting giant-like their heads on high, 
Making of terror-brooding tempests mirth, 
And gamboling with thunderbolts that fly 
Around their adamant. They wait Eternity ! 

The land of Streams, — if such a pigmy name 
Can designate those realm-dividing seas, 
That brotherhood with nought in Nature claim — 
Time-honour'd, mock their flood-born semblances, 
Flowing their mightiest with the tempest-breeze ! 
For there Missouri lifts his awful wave, 
Usurps the tumbling torrents Winter frees — 
In wild omnipotence his billows rave — 
Scatters his flood-gates; dams, rocks, mounds, man's cot, field, grave, 



117 

He shoulders, sweeps them to the Main ! nor heeds 
Man's shrieks, wail, tears, and wringing hands — away» 
Away the abysmal devastation speeds, 
Strong in his gaunt unconquerable sway — 
God's breath directs, man's arm shall ne'er delay ! — 

Such was your Feeedom's morning fight ! the field 
Was spread beneath just Heaven's approving ray — 
The twilight Stars* reflected deck'd your shield 
Freedom's eternal grant was then by Heaven seal'd. 

But not, alas ! for them whose skin was black ! 
These bless'd thee not, fair Freedom ! thou for them, 
Didst legalize the thong, the chain, the rack — 
The slave in torture, Patriots in their dream ! 
'T was then we saw the woes of thraldom teem, 
The brimming cup of Slavery to fill — 
As million tyrants in their wrath would deem 
Expedient to their thirst for Gold ! the will 
Curst with the power to maim, to torture, and to kill! 

The battle-field — as patriots to fight, 
And bravely perish in our country's cause — 
The gift of Reason, — Man's eternal right, 
To frame, to ratify protecting laws — 
Fame's melody, Posterity's applause — 

* In allusion to the " Star-spangled Banner," their national 
flag ; alternate stripes of red and white, and white stars on a blue 
srround. 



118 



The joys of Home, the fruits of Industry, 
All, all to them a gaping void — the clause 
Writ by Oppression's hand indelibly : 
" God made ye black, Fate made ye slaves, so live, and die !' 

We fought your battle — aye the Blackman's bones 
Propp'd the proud pinnacle when Freedom's smile 
Seem'd like a babe's, for all— till by his groans 
Her pedestal is shaken, and the pile 
Crumbles to crush the prostitute whose guile 
Deceived, then Tmndi....used us in her need, 
And then abused — bethought her 'twould defile 
Hei evil-fame to grant an equal meed 
To them that honor d her when frail, — a lonely reed! 

Yes ! we stood forth, bound by an oath of God 
To free Columbia — and we saw her free : 
The Blackman's arms were grounded on the sod 
Where Washington proclaimed that Liberty, 
Which ye abuse and dandle on the knee ! 
The smoke of Glory then eclipsed her light — 
We read a doom — the skies, the silent sea 
Grew dark, and pregnant storm usurp'd the night, 
To war the trumpet sounds ; prepared, ye rush to fight! 

Aye, in a battle where ye have the blade, 
And we the flesh to writhe, the blood to flow ! 
Ye gave us once the sword, but now the spade — 
Then we could give, but now receive the blow ! 



119 



Then we could hope that every human woe 
Was destined to be soothed by Freedom's hand — 
We shared your victory, — and ye now bestow 
(Ye need us not to save your Fatherland !) 
The lash of outrage — Scorn's annihilating brand ! — 

O Washington ! by Nations all revered ! 
For thine was not the Tyrant's haughty neck, 
Content that men should hate thee, if they fear'd !* 
When skies were bright, lie tbask'd on Fortune's deck 
Voracious sharks around, but held in check 
By magic circumstance. Awhile in sport 
Boldly he revell'd with Death ; but sudden wreck 
O'ertook him in his dream — anchor'd in port — 
Close by his arsenals — defended by his fort ! 

Scattering dismay that made the foeman quail, 
Still clean of hands — a conqueror without blame ! 
Like Cyrus sent, thy mission could not fail, 
But gain'd the hallow'd attribute of Fame ; 
For blessed Peace with Freedom was the aim, 
Thy Christian soul proposed. No widow's sigli 
Haunted thy march — for Freedom's equal game 
Perill'd thyself — could they their sons deny ? 
Not for a Tyrant's throne they fell, but Liberty. 



* Oderint modb metuant. 

f It is scarcely necessary to state that the career of Napoleon 
is figured by the following verses. 



120 

There * sleeps the Hero. No escutcheon -brass— 
Nor arch-triumphal numbers whom he slew. 
He sleeps as dew-drop on the blooming grass, 
Blessing the bosom where its blessing grew. 
Seek ye an Epitaph ? " The sword he drew 
" For Freedom ; — won the day, resign'd the blade, 
" Like Cincinnatus : for the Christian knew 
" His Mission was fulfill'd — and God repaid, — 
A calm, an infant's sleep, beneath the willow-shade." 

As far as. Fame's loud clarion hath reach'd 
Peerless renown his worth and prowess reap — 
His sceptre bless'd by all, and unimpeach'd — 
His people's father, Shepherd of his sheep, 
Smiles when they smile, and weeps whene'er they weep. 
Wise for his trust, not for himself — to wield 
The sword of vengeance 'gainst the foe, — to keep 
The while, for them a broad protecting shield — 
Mentor in Council-hall, Achilles in the Field. 

No war of aggrandizement known to wage, 
Nor bought a peace with his own country's shame : 
But strove to leave for Truth's historic page 
That something reverend, a good king's name — 
Rare precious jewel in the niche of Fame ! 
Not Alexander's — 'tis a schoolboy's theme — 
Not Caesar's — 'tis a cripple, limping, lame — 

* Mount Yernon ; Washington's villa. 



121 



Nor thine Napoleon ! Fortune's reckless whim, 
But thine, great Washington ! Fame's loftiest Paean hymn ! 

Thy name survives ; thy Wisdom, now no more, 
Beams freedom-crested in the council-hall : 
No more is heard that welcome, grateful roar, 
That well responded to thine earnest call, 
" Columbia's Flag is Liberty to ail ! " * 
The sons of Patriots that fought by thee, 
That bled to rescue them from goading thrall, 
Now Spartan-like, curst inconsistency, 
Boast with thy hallo w'd name, their chains andSlavery. 

Shall Clio, deed-immortalizing Muse, 
For ever seek a compromise in vain ? 
Hopeless, struck dumb as by a stern Meduse, 
Whene'er she sings her praise-awarding strain, 
Columbia ! and leave the Atlantic Main 
To men that have forsworn humanity ? 
Thy glory set, and ne'er to rise again, 
Hail'd with the blessings of the wise and free ! 
Hast thou pronounced upon thyself the dread decree ? 



* " The charter of American Independence declares all men 
born equal: but there is a stronger word: — it declares that all 
men have the same inalienable right to liberty ; yes, inalienable 
is the word. That is the sacred basis of American independence ; 
it is not confined to caste, colour, sect, or creed." — O'Connell's 
Speech at the Convention. 



122 



A thousand fervent voices answer — NO ! 
The swift winds hear them, and the vaulting sail, 
The spreading Eagle, and the stars that glow 
Spangling thy Banner, glad the rising gale — 
The young Croisade with emblem-cross and mail, 
Fo* God and suffering Man, is on the Main — 
Once more a fiercer Paynim shall assail, 
And conqueress, the Dragon routed, slain, 
Establish Freedom o'er the Universe again ! 

O "Woman, bliss of Heart, and heart of bliss ! 
Spirit God sent to cheer Man's misery — 
Thou art Life's ever-blooming Oasis — 
Man never loves but when he loves like thee ! 
Thou, too, hast raised thy tender hand to free 
The grateful slave. Oh ! yes — it grieves thee not 
That he is black — thy keen-eyed charity 
Dives to his heart, and prejudice forgot, 
Finds Virtue, Love, and Truth, beside the poor man's cot I 

- 
Angelica ! * aye, angel be the name ! 

Descending angel of Bethesda's well — 

Thy cruel countrymen may scoff or blame, 

But scoffs or blame shall never woman quell ! 

* One of the best friends of the Negro. " You all remember 
Angelica Grimke, and her zeal in the cause af abolition, for 
which you owe a deep debt of gratitude." — O'ConnelVs Speech 
on the Convention. 



123 



Sweet words shall conquer, thunders ne'er compel. 
Oh ! if thy name breathed gratefully repay, 
Or symbol what no spoken words can tell, 
Nor thine, nor Esther's name shall fade away — 
Esther to Israel, and thou to Africa ! 



END OF CANTO IV. 



125 



CANTO V. 



Forced by his crimes, his lust for gold, the dread 
Of senseless Persecution far to speed, — 
The Whiteman launch'd upon the Ocean's bed 
His bark adventurous, where Fate should lead. 
By argument of arms his right decreed 
Where Manitou had planted his domain, 
Protecting God of Nature's simple creed. 
The Heirloom was usurp' d — the First-born slain — 
His name became an Echo where his bones remain ! 

There by thy banks, thy tributary streams, 
Great Mesachebe ! there he loved to dwell : 
The rolling Prairie where the Bison teems. 
His wigwam tented in thy merry dell, 
Rising as by a charm, a Fairy-spell ! 
Child of young Nature — suckling of her breast, 
She gave him all he needed — and full well 
She timed his daily toil and evening rest — 
That craftless alchemy of Health, by Heaven bless'd. 



126 

Valour his Nature's virtue — Cowardice 
To man or beast — in battle-field or chase, 
Taught to despise as manhood's foulest vice. 
Strength of the arm, bow slung, and nimble pace — 
Equipp'd the warrior of the Indian race. 
Free as the air he breathed, and free to roam 
O'er his gigantic common's boundless space — 
He had nor palaces, nor rock-built dome — 
God's heaven was his roof, and every sod was home. 

His forests gave him food, the quivering flesh 
(The conquest of his strong unerring arm) 
Of Elk or Bison ta'en by bow, not mesh. 
What time the camp sets up the glad alarm, 
Snatching their sleeping bows, the warriors swarm, 
As storm-clouds from its lull awake the wind — 
The keen eye flashes, and the spirits warm, 
Impatient till the flying rout they find 
And strike the River-king — vast, gasping, left behind! 

The Hunt, the wigwam, toil, renewing rest, 
The tenor of his days — Economy, 
By Nature shielded from the social pest 
Of Politics perverse, whose pedigree 
Is womb'd in bloated wealth and slavery — 
A Python from Corruption sprung, and fed 
Like Baal, hungry god !.... We bend the knee, 
Adore; — his high-priests leav* their midnight-bed, 
In harpy vigil round the teeming monster tread. 



127 

Gymnasium of Cunning, where the Bold 
Resign the field, the spear, the sheen of day ; 
And learn to cringe. By promised pelf controll'd., 
Friends, kindred, creed, and country they betray, 
As those that train them are prepared to pay ! 
Virtue and Wisdom patronless remain : 
In vain they blaze — they flicker, die away, 
Like thoughts of charitable deeds that pain 
The Good Man's weeping heart : butPity weeps in vain! 

"We boast the light of Heaven. From the skies 
A God came down and taught us how to live : 
We bear his Name — his wisdom makes us wise ; 
And still where are the proofs that we believe ? 
Where the examples deedless Faith can give ? 
Reproaching Heathens for their lies, we lie — 
The widow, orphan, and the virgin grieve, 
We pass them by, and wonder why they cry ! 
The poor ! we scout them ; they may bless their God and die ! 

And then with sympathizing bosoms send . 
Our holy things to them that heed them not ! 
Since, whilst a listening ear the Heathens lend, 
They see the threadbare motives that have brought 
The followers of Christ ! His cause forgot, 
We dig the mine — we plant the cane — we burn 
The heathen's forest where he hung his cot, 
Sent with his wives and little ones to mourn 
Our tender mercies, Creed and Charity forsworn ! 



128 



Thus hand in hand go Mammon and the Cross ! 
Tho' disunited by a God's decree. 
"We soothe the Savage for his country's loss, 
His liberty, his forests, land and sea, 
With after-hopes of gain d Eternity ! — 
Then seize his kingdom for our recompense ! — 
The Earth for us, and Heaven above for thee, 
Poor Savage ! 't is a scriptural * pretence, 
The Christian's Avarice expounds, to drive thee hence ! 

Success hath crown'd us ! Citadels arise 
Upon the Delaware's t sepulchral mound — 
The giant tomb for Fame to memorize : 
For there his war- tramp shook the plain around — 
The warriors' spirits, waken'd by the sound, 
Revived, commingled in the Pyrrhic dance, 
Alas ! as snow, spring-melted from the ground, 
They were, but are not ! buried, as in trance 
Beneath your feet ! Ye press their sons' inheritance ! 

Christ's latest wish, "Love, as I you have loved," J 
Forgot — Christian by Christian fell. The goal 
They craved, was as Ambition, Avarice moved : 
Ambition, Avarice, Lust, subscribed the scroll, 



* Matt. v. 5. 

t The most powerful of the Indian nations in former times. 

X " This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I 
have loved you "—John, xiv. 12. These words were spoken on 
the eve of the Passion. 



129 



That binds all Nations in their wide control ! 
All painted playthings for a Tyrant's game — 
Mere images of men without a soul, 
That ne'er shall redden with the blush of shame ! 
Then Freedom ! what sat thou? the Protocol of Fame?. 

The covenant of God — the Cherub's eye 
That first beheld the Godhead face to face : 
Primeval breath, by the Divinity, 
Breathed with his blessing in the new-born race. 
Boundless, as where He walks, infinite space ! 
The fairest mantle of Man's glories all — 
Nature's ennobling, Soul's adorning grace — 
Nerve of Man's power, and the rampart- wall, 
"Where Patriots rally, fight — to conquer or to fall ! 

Thine are the living energies that flash 
Unearthly vigour from the warrior's eye ; 
When the resounding battle-axes clash, 
Or cannons roar, he bids the red balls fly ! 
By thee, the Patriot pants to fight, to die — 
And gasps his soul, tho* agonizing, free ; 
"Whilst at his gory post all mangled lie 
The remnants of his brave humanity, — 
His godlike soul still lives, exulting flies to thee ! 

Whate'er the land where God has will'd his birth, 
On the cold Common of Kamtschatka's wild, 
In the hot realms by Torrid Zones begirth, 



130 



Or where gaunt Chimborazo God hath piled ; 
On Niger's banks the Desert's truant child, 
Or where the reverend Ganges, sacred flood, 
Rolls expiation thro' the land defiled; 
Where'er the feet of Man shall press the sod, 
Let them in Freedom roam, as destined by his God ! 

In whelming splendours like the sun at noon, 
Athens arose, intrench'd by Freedom's throne ! 
And Fame awards her dearly purchased boon, 
By Heaven design'd, by Valour bravely won, 
On Persia's grave, the field of Marathon. 
"When a barbarian tempest-cloud was spread, 
'Mid whose dim shade the Persian's spear-steel shone 
As lightning in the dark — but soon it sped 
Away, as drizzling rain, and day beam'd overhead ! 

Athens arose, as often from his nest 
The stripling Eaglet, down-wing'd, boltless, weak, 
(What time his mother with maternal breast 
Is ravaging for food the distant creek) 
Bethinks him of his race : he scales the peak 
Where clings the Prowler of the Hebrides, 
Midway abash' d, 'twixt Death and billows bleak : 
Sudden he stuns the trembler — screams — and sees 
Him fall from crag to crag deep down the gored abyss. 

Thus battled Athens on that holiday ! 

Thus joy'd when Persia's myriads were slain, 



131 



Then deck'd with their barbaric spoil's array — 
A Nemesis upon the bloody plain, 
That mothers, seeing, might assuage their pain : 
Then grappled for the sceptre of the deep. 
The Invader from his throne beside the Main 
Beheld Disaster Ruin's harvest heap 
Along the JEgean shore, for waves and winds to reap 



A germ of every clime, finds sap in all — 
Spreads redolent with blossoms, teeming fruit ; 
Ne'er Autumn-stripp'd — if e'er thy leaflets fall, 
Fair Freedom ! others live, perennial shoot 
Regenerate scions round about thy root. 
Wisdom, and Eloquence, and Poesy, 
Beneath thy shade, high arguments to moot 
Shall come — the Theban Swan,* the Attic Beet — 
Clio, % Calliope, § and crown'd Melpomene. || 

When Genius, friendless ever, poor, despised, 
Fate-bound and homeless, wander'd o'er the earth, 
Athens the child of Heaven patronised, 
And placed him near her gods, beside the hearth — 
He was divine — she recognised his birth. 
Sweet Nymph of Nissa, with a mother's care 
She nursed an infant-god ! Her songs of mirth 



* Pindar. f Plato. % History. 

§ Heroic Poetry. || Tragedy. 

K 2 



132 



Around him breathed a cheerful, soothing air ; 
Enharmonizing well the discord of Despair. 

And art thou fallen too ! Shall Memory stray 
Among the ruins of thy destinies, 
As guideless traveller that lacks his way 
Beneath a winter of the starless skies ? 
"Weeping a hopeless tear, for thee she sighs : 
Arts, Sciences, "War, "Wisdom, hail thy name, 
And flowers strew to grace thy exequies — 
Thou hast enough, the plenitude of Fame ! 
And still, a Cenotaph thou art, a fleshless frame ! 

A Cenotaph ! Oh no ! the universe 
Is thine imperial tomb. The names, the deeds 
Of all thy Heroes, Sages, Bards, disperse — 
As far as ocean rolls and storm- wind speeds, 
Thy epitaph enduring Memory reads. 
It is the signal of the "Wise, the Brave — 
To Liberty or Death on laurell'd meads ! 
"When Glory's trumpet sounds o'er Freedom's grave, 
The Tyrant trembles, lest it rouse the sleeping Slave ! 

But still it is an unsubstantial fame ! 

A scoffing echo near a sepulchre, 

That hears unmoved, nay mocks the dearest name 

"Which oft we think, and breathe, and sigh, with tear 

And pang, till wretched life is parch' d and sear ! 



133 



Oh ! could we quench the soul's immortal fire ! 
Or give her wings to be for ever near 
Her other half! But 'tis a vain desire — 
And we must live ahalf, flesh soulless, stringlessLyre ! 

The Chisel and the Pencil now no more 
Display the majesty of mind. The hand 
Of god-creating Phidias as of yore, 
No longer wields the life-inspiring wand. 
No Zeuxis culls the beauties of the land 
To deck a Helen, Ilion's curse restored ! 
The Patriot, the Orator * to stand 
'Gainst Macedon — when brandishing the sword 
Thy fickle sons rush'dforth,andfought with one accord 

Is heard no more ! His enviable throne, 
His honour'd PNYX,t the threats of Time defies. 
Aye, still it stands — a proud immortal stone, 
Exulting for its pass'd resplendencies — 
Emblazon'd by a fame that never dies. 
Ruin 'mid ruins, lo ! the Patriot brings 
His only willing tribute, weeping eyes ! 
And solitary winds droop on their wings 
Waking a melody of sad iEolian strings. 

Melpomene is thine, and thine alone — 
Peerless as Queen of Woe, her weeping eyes 

* Demosthenes. 

f The place whence the orator addressed the multitude. 



134 



Pierce to the Stranger's heart — and groan for groan 
She wrings, when Thebes a resting-place denies 
The poor blind King that Heaven and Earth chastise ! 
The Father's* soul unbending to the blast — 
The Daughter's love, the Sister's + sympathies — 
Praying to Heaven for ever overcast ! 
In voiceless grief — betwixt the future and the past ! 

Thine is the Bard J that on the Thespian gale 
Outspreading lordly wings the spheres among — 
'Mid thunders, lightnings, sleet, descending hail, 
In reckless dithyrambics rolls along — 
Sweetly melodious, majestic, strong ; 
Heavenward he wends his flight for evermore, 
And from his zenith streams the flood of song 
Down raining melody on every shore — 
He storms, he lulls ; he wakes, obedient torrents roar ! 

How grew to Fame the first historic tree ? § 
Dew'd by thy smiles — for thy delighted ear 
Quaff'd sweetly his Ionian melody, 
And seem'd the Muses all, at once, to hear ! 
Thy voices welcomed with an ardent cheer 
The homeless Patriot to thy gods and home. 
Athena's Bee|| would roam in long career, 
Sweets culling whilst he hums, ne'er wearisome : 
Heaven bless'd him with its Truth to cheer the 
Heathen's gloom ! 
* OEdipus. f Antigone. X Pindar. 

§ Herodotus. || Plato. 



135 

And he was thine adopted child — the King * 
Of mind ; in Science, whose ubiquity 
Pursued with indefatigable wing 
Things human and divine, Earth, Sea, and Sky — 
Found all but God — lived anxious — feared to die ! 
And Socrates was thine, the pure, the mild, 
Who died for Truth — thine was the penalty ! 
He left thee to thy fate ! by crime denied, 
To selfish Demagogues and Freedom helmless, wild ! 

Unchanged duration of eternal day 
Is God's alone ! All else resistless Time 
Confounds. Earth's fruitfulness, man's strength decay; 
Faith fails, and Perfidy sprouts up sublime ! 
In friends, in cities of a kindred clime, 
Selfsame and lasting Friendships ne'er remain ; 
Now Virtue triumphs, now ascendant Crime. 
To some 't is pleasure past, to others pain — 
Sweets change to gall, and thenrene w'd, to sweets again! 

In Thee, great God ! we hope — in Thee alone ! 
As slaves to weep if we be destined still, 
Still doom'd a satisfying curse to moan, 
Teach us a sweet submission to Thy will ! 



* Aristotle. His universal genius is proverbial. His 
opinions of the Deity were ever various and conflicting. His 
last words were : " Impure I entered this world — I lived in 
anxiety; and I depart in agitation— Cause of Causes, have 



136 



Lead us, like Abram, up the fatal hill : 
Ourselves, our children, all we yield to Thee. 
Thy Mercy may forbear, thy Justice kill, 
Thy Wisdom still makes Death a clemency, 
And rebel Pride compels to bless the wise decree ! 

If sorrow be thy children's lot below, 
"Whence thy Elect transplanted to the skies, 
From Saloe's brook, immortally shall grow — 
Then we submit, and bless our destinies ! 
Thou wilt accept the tears, and hear the sighs 
Of poor benighted Africa, and bless 
The Slave redeem' d, that Christ will not despise. 
He came to soothe the Captive's long distress, 
To change man's long- wept tears to smiles of happiness . 

'T was out of bitter Egypt, through the wild, 
Despite opposing foes, that Thou wouldst lead 
The inheritors of Canaan. Long exiled, 
Condemn'd to toil uncheer'd, and hopeless need, 
The builders of a Pharaoh's Pyramid ! # 
Oh ! thus we toil ! the Whiteman reaps the price ; 
We see his fortunes rising like the reed, 
Whose juice, mix'd with our blood, yields Avarice 
Her promised boon — the curst omnipotence of Vice ! 



* There is an opinion, which is at least probable, that the 
Israelites were employed during their sojourn in Egypt to build 
the Pyramids. 



137 

Great Israel ! was ever Nation bless' d 
Like thee ! Cradled in his own breast — a child — 
God saved thee, nursed, defended, and caress'd, 
When thou wast held in bondage and reviled, 
And cruel Egypt burthens on thee piled ! 
In battle gave thee victory — then peace 
Amid thy ruthless foes, and nations wild, 
Whose vineyard's bloom, whose teeming flock's increase, 
To thee He gave — a bless'd, a long-enduring lease. 

Oh ! if we bear the penalty of Sin, 
Let centuries of penal pain avail, 
Offended Justice ! Now look down serene ! 
Breathe from propitious skies a wafting gale, 
Thyself direct the helm and trim the sail — 
And to its destined haven guide the bark ! 
Guide the meek harbinger where blooms the dale — 
The sea grows calm, the lowering sky less dark — 
Vouchsafe an Ararat — unseal the Christian's ark ! 



The cloudy ignorance of them who deem 
Oppression guiltless by the colour'd skin — 
Dispel, great Architect of man! — the dream !.... 
Was it denied us, the erected mien — 
The aspiring brow to meditate the scene 
Of peopled worlds on high, that bow to Thee ? — 
From GOD shall VIRTUE gain a seraph's sheen, 
Man's deeds distinguishing by just degree — 
As star from star* distinct, they'll shine as He shallsee. 
* 1 Cor. xv. 41. 



138 



Virtue, bliss of Earth, reward of Heaven ! 
For God has nothing more in store for man : 
Since when to man Himself God shall be given, 
He is but Virtue free from Vice's ban. 
Virtue is Love's extremest, widest span — 
Love, the beginning of our life, the end — 
Love, that e'er Time, with timeless God began, 
To Man was given at Freedom's birth, to blend 
Freedom and Virtue — one inseparable friend ! 

Genius of Africa ! awake and sing * 
The coming glories of thy Fatherland ; 
Behold the vale of vision opening — 
Arise ! shine forth, thy glory is at hand ! 
Lift up thine eyes around, — the thronging strand 
The distant isles shall people ! from the West 
Thy sons shall come, a renovated band, 
To live their youth once more, Redemption-bless' d, 
The Father to its home, the Child its Mother's breast. 

CHORUS OF AFRICAN WOMEN. 

Strophe. 

No more shall we curse 
The day thou wast born, 
Sweet bud of the fruitful womb ! 
For thou art no more 
The "Whiteman's scorn ! 

* In this stanza and the chorus that follows, several pre- 
dictions, &c. are applied from Isaiah lx. 



139 

No more shall he count 
From his wicked purse, 
For thy flesh the amount, 
On thy Country's weeping tomb ! 

Oh ! he forced us to hate 
What a Mother should prize ! 

For we bore the Whiteman's slave ! 
Oh ! how could we love 
What man would despise, 
And doom to the fate 
Of the orphan-dove, 

Ere its mother was deep in the grave ! 

We beheld it arise 

Like the little wave 
That grows with the growing wind — 

But is doom'd to sleep 

In the distant cave, 

Where a silent gloom 

Shall be its tomb — 
A draught for the Summer's thirst ! 

When in childhood it play'd, 

And its arm grew strong, 
Its prowess brought to mind, 

How its brother was ta'en, 

As in sport he delay'd, 

His companions among 

By the brim of the Main — 
He was borne to the bark accursed ! 



140 

We heard not his cries, 

As he struggled in vain, 
With the Whiteman's stronger chain ! 

And we heard not his voice 

In the merry strain, 

He would sing when the skies, 

With their smiling eyes, 

Saw the mother rejoice, 
As the Earth 'neath the suckling rain. 

For he was gone ! — 

Doom'd ne'er to return, 
In his Fatherland to rest ! 

Still we hoped that he lived ! — 

Till the Wolf came again ! 

Then the Mother believed 

That her child was slain ! 

But he scorn'd her moan, 

And as storm- wind stern 

On the hopeless Main — 

The Father he gagg'd, 

To the slave-ship dragg'd, 
And bade me preserve the babe at my breast ! 

Oh ! whence was the stone 

That made the heart 
The Whiteman brought from the West ? 

Was he father or son, 

Who the mother could part 

From her husband and child ? 

And left her to moan 



141 

For the coming fate 
Of the babe at her breast ! 

Disconsolate — 

Distracted — wild — 
With despair that knew no rest ! 

Anti-Strophe. 

But no more shall we curse 
The day thou wast born, 

Sweet bud of the fruitful womb 
For thou art no more 
The Whiteman's scorn ! 
No more shall he count 
From his wicked purse, 
For thy flesh the amount, 

On thy Country's weeping tomb ! 

The night is past, 

The twilight speeds, 
And day breaks bright o'er the land ! 

The sons of thy foe, 

In penitent weeds, 

Are come at last, 

With bosoms that glow, 

And tears that stream, 

Their sins to redeem ! 

The pangs of the past 

Shall be forgot, 
And Hope her wings shall expand ! 



142 



Then rest in thy cot, 

And thy mother beside 

Shall bewail thee not, 

As the hours glide, 

With a song of woe — 

Doom'd a Slave to go 

To the Whiteman's home ! 

For behold ! they come 
With hands of love — aye, as friends they come ! 

The Mother shall joy, 

And the Father smile ! 

For not to destroy, 

Nor in fiendish guile — 

No ! they come as a friend 

To soothe the distress'd. 

Thy brothers they send 

From the cruel West. 

There, the chains they leave — 

Here, shall cease to grieve ! 

For the gladsome strand 

Of Fatherland, 
Shall greet them to welcome home. 

Epode. 

As the sky when the blast 
Hath ceased its career — 
Like the sea, storm pass'd, 
When the ship may steer 
To the haven of rest — 
Oh ! thus are we bless'd ! 



143 

Our field shall we sow, 
And shall reap the fruit 
That God will bestow, 
Our strength to recruit — 
For the scourge of his wrath in mercy shall cease. 

Arise ! shine ! for thy light 
Is come ! through the midnight dark 
Flies the kindling spark ! 
Awake ! prophetic sight ! 
God shall teach us the way 
To his home in the skies, 
"Where a nightless day 
Shall for ever arise ! 
The name shall we bear 
Of his children bless'd, 
And his Faith shall cheer 
The weak, the distress'd, 
Or a blessed Death in the Lord bring release ! * 

* Rev. xiv. 13 : — " that they may rest from their 

LABOURS ; AND THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM."— Ibid. 



THE END. 



NOTES. 



NOTES. 



NOTES TO THE PROLOGUE. 

(*) William Tell, a peasant of Burgeln, near Altorf, 
in the Canton of Uri, celebrated for his resistance to the 
tyranny of the Austrian governor Gessler. To the most 
profligate tyranny Gessler added a singular extravagance 
of vanity. He caused a pike to be erected, surmounted 
by his cap, and issued a general mandate, that all who 
passed it should uncover their heads as to himself in per- 
son. Tell, who was ignorant of the order, observed the 
idol with astonishment, and went by, laughing. But the 
tyrant's minions accused him of the treason, and being 
brought into the presence of Gessler, he was condemned 
to shoot an apple off the head of his child. This mode of 
punishment was adopted because Tell was a well-known 
marksman. Amidst the imprecations of all around, the 
tyrant came to enjoy the sight ; and Tell, raising his hands 
to heaven, exclaimed : " Do thou, just God ! guide the 
stroke ! " With a firm hand he seized the bow — fixed the 
arrow : it fled, and the apple was borne away, the child 
scarcely feeling a hair displaced. 

Tell having with him another arrow, the tyrant inquired 
the use he intended to make of it : " To shoot you, had I 

l2 



148 NOTES. 

shot my son," was the father's reply. His boldness cost 
him his liberty; and was subsequently to be punished 
with death. But Tell escaped, and being pursued by 
Gessler himself, he pierced him at the very moment when 
the implacable despot was vowing vengeance against the 
fugitive, who was near enough to hear him without being 
observed. " Thus fell this inhuman, this terrible example 
to cruel men ! and on the spot where he fell, as also upon 
the rock where Tell had escaped, two chapels were built, 
standing to the present day — a perpetual memorial." 
After the expulsion of the governors and the demolition of 
their castles, it became customary among the Swiss to 
make pilgrimages to the place where Tell had leaped 
ashore in his flight from his oppressor ; and the Canton of 
Uri caused an eulogy to be pronounced every year in 
memory of the hero. — See Nov. Moral, and Bellchamb. 

Trophied on a Marathon. — p. 2. 

Marathon was a village of Attica, in ancient Greece, ten 
miles from Athens, celebrated for the victory which the 
10,000 Athenians and 1000 Plateans, under the command 
of Miltiades, gained over the Persian army, consisting of 
100,000 foot and 10,000 horse ; or, according to Val. Maxi- 
mus, of 300,000 ; or, as Justin says, of 600,000, under the 
command of Datis and Artaphernes, on the 28th of Sep- 
tember, 490 b. c. In this battle, according to Herodotus, 
the Athenians lost only 192 men, and the Persians, 6300. 
Justin has raised the loss of the Persians in this expedi- 
tion and in the battle to 200,000 men.* 

( 2 ) The character of Washington will be given in the 
fourth Canto. There is an anecdote of that great man 
which I have heard, to the effect, that, riding on one 

* Lempr. 



NOTES. 149 

occasion with another officer, a Negro saluted him with a 
very respectful bow ; Washington returned the salute by 
taking off his hat ; the officer expressed his surprise 
at this unusual condescension to a Negro, — when Washing- 
ton observed, that he should be sorry to have less politeness 
than any man, and a Negro was certainly one ! 

" The following are a few of a multitude of illustrations, 
which might be adduced, showing that " prejudice against 
colour " found slight encouragement among the fathers of 
the republic. Washington himself set an example of 
courteous respect for people of colour, which reflects the 
deepest shame upon his degenerate countrymen. The 
following letter addressed to Phillis Wheatley, a native 
African, and a slave, is found in his published corres- 
pondence." 

" Cambridge, February 28, 1776. 

• Miss Phillis, — Your favour of the 26th of October did 
not reach my hands till the middle of December ; time 
enough, you will say, to have given an answer ere this — 
Granted — but a variety of important occurrences continu- 
ally interposing to distract the mind and withdraw the at- 
tention, I hope will apologize for the delay, and plead my 
excuse for the seeming but not real neglect. I thank you 
most sincerely for your polite notice of me in the elegant 
lines you inclosed ; and however undeserving I may be of 
such encomium and panegyric, the style and manner 
exhibit a striking proof of your poetical talents ; in honour 
of which, and as a tribute justly due to you, I would have 
published the poem, had I not been apprehensive, that, 
while I only meant to give the world this new instance of 
your genius, I might have incurred the imputation of 
vanity. This, and nothing else, determined me not to give 
it place in the public prints. 

" If you should ever come to Cambridge, or near head- 



150 NOTES. 

quarters, I shall be happy to see a person so favored by the 
Muses, and to whom Nature has been so liberal and bene- 
ficent in her dispensations. I am, with great respect, your 
obedient, humble servant, 

" George Washington." * 

( 3 ) The name of Dessalines stands convicted of many 
cruelties : but before we condemn him, let us hear him in 
his own defence: 

" Jean Jaques Dessalines, Governor-General, to the 
inhabitants of Hayti — Liberty or Death ! 

" Crimes the most atrocious — such as were until then 
unheard of, and would cause nature to shudder — have been 
perpetrated. The measure was overheaped. At length 
the hour of vengance has arrived, and the implacable 
enemies of the rights of man have suffered the punishment 
due to their crimes. My arm raised over their heads has 
too long delayed to strike. At that signal, which the 
justice of God has given, your hands righteously armed 
have brought the axe upon the ancient tree of Slavery 
and prejudice. In vain had time, and more especially the 
infernal politics of Europeans surrounded it with triple 
brass. You have stripped it of its armour: you have 
placed it npon your heart, that you may become (like your 
natural enemies) cruel and merciless. Like an overflow- 
ing, mighty torrent that tears down all opposition, your 
vengeful fury has carried away everything in its impetu- 
ous course. Thus perish all the tyrants over innocence — 
all oppressors of mankind ! What then ? Bent for many 
ages under an iron yoke — the sport of the passions of men, 
mutilated victims of the cupidity of white Frenchmen, 
after having fattened with our toils these insatiate blood- 

* See Slavery, &c. in the United States, p. 220. 



NOTES. 151 

suckers, with a patience and resignation unexampled, we 
should again have seen that sacrilegious horde make 
an attempt at our destruction without any distinction of 
age or sex ! and we, men without energy, of no virtue, of 
no delicate sensibility — should we not have plunged in 
their breast the dagger of desperation ? "Where is that 
evil Haytian, so unworthy of his regeneration, who thinks 
that he has not accomplished the decrees of the Eternal, 
as the Israelites of old, by exterminating their blood-thirsty 
tigers. If there be one, let him fly ! indignant Nature dis- 
cards him from her bosom — let him hide his shame far 
from hence : the air we breathe is not suited to his gross 
organs — it is the pure air of Liberty, august and trium- 
phant. Yes, we have rendered to these true cannibals war 
for war, crime for crime, outrage for outrage. Yes ; we 
have saved our country — we have avenged America. The 
avowal that we make of it in the face of Earth and Heaven 
constitutes our pride and our glory. Of what consequence 
to us is the opinion which contemporary and future gene- 
rations will pronounce upon our conduct ? We have per- 
formed our duty. We enjoy our own approbation — for us 
that is sufficient. But what do I say ? The preservation 
of our unfortunate brothers, and the testimony of my own 
conscience are not my only recompense. We have seen 
two classes of men, born to cherish, assist, and succour each 
other ; mixed, in a word, and blended together, crying for 
vengeance, and disputing the honour of the first blow ; 
Blacks and Mulattoes, whom the refined duplicity of Euro- 
peans has for a long time endeavoured to divide, you who 
are now consolidated and make but one family — without 
doubt it was necessary that our perfect reconciliation 
should be sealed with the blood of your butchers. Similar 
calamities have hung over your proscribed heads — a similar 
ardour to strike your enemies has signalized you — the like 



152 NOTES. 

fate is reserved for you, and the like interests must there- 
fore render you for ever indivisible and inseparable. 
Maintain that precious concord — that happy harmony 
amongst yourselves ; it is the pledge of your happiness, 
your safety, and your success — it is the secret of being in- 
vincible. It is necessary, in order to strengthen these ties, 
to recall to your remembrance the catalogue of atrocities 
committed against our species : the massacre of the entire 
population of this island, meditated in the silence and 
sang-froid of the cabinet — the execution of that abomin- 
able project, to me unblushingly proposed, and already begun 
by the French, with the calmness and serenity of a coun- 
tenance accustomed to similar crimes. Guadaloupe 
pillaged and destroyed — its ruins still reeking with the 
blood of children, women, and old men put to the sword. 
Pelage (himself the victim of their craftiness, often having 
basely betrayed his country and his brothers) the brave 
and immortal Delgresse, blown into the air with the fort 
which he defended, rather than accept their proffered 
chains. Magnanimous warrior ! That noble death, far 
from enfeebling ourcourage, serves only to rouse within 
us the determination of avenging or of following thee. 
Shall I again recall to your memory the plots lately formed 
at Jeremie — the terrible explosion which was to be the 
result, notwithstanding the generous pardon granted to 
these incorrigible beings at the expulsion of the French 
army — the deplorable fate of our departed brothers in 
Europe, and (dread harbinger of death !) the frightful 
despotism exercised at Martinico ? Unfortunate people of 
Martinico ! "Would that I could fly to your assistance, and 
break your fetters! Alas! an insurmountable barrier 
separates us ! Perhaps a spark from the same fire which 
inflames us will alight into your bosoms — perhaps at the 
sound of this commotion, suddenly awakened from your 



NOTES. 153 

lethargy, with arms in your hands, you will reclaim your 
sacred imperscriptible rights. 

" After the terrible example which I have just given, I 
trust that sooner or later divine Justice will unchain 
on Earth some mighty minds, above the weakness of the 
vulgar, for the terror and destruction of the wicked. 
Tremble, ye tyrants, usurpers, scourges of the new world ! 
— our daggers are sharpened — your punishment is ready. 
Sixty thousand men equipped, inured to war, obedient to 
my orders, burn to offer a new sacrifice to the manes of 
their assassinated brothers. Let that nation come who 
may be mad and daring enough to attack me. Already at 
his approach, the irritated Genius of Hayti, arising out of 
the bosom of the wave appears ; his menacing aspect 
throws the universe in commotion, excites tempests, and 
with his mighty hand disperses ships, and dashes them in 
pieces. To his formidable voice the laws of Nature pay obe- 
dience. Diseases, Plague, Famine, Conflagration, Poison, are 
his constant attendants. But why calculate on the assistance 
of the climate and the elements ? Have I forgotten that 
I command a people of no common cast — brought up in 
adversity — whose audacious daring frowns at obstacles, and 
increases by dangers. Let them come then, these homicidal 
cohorts — I wait for them with firmness, and with a steady 
eye. I abandon to them freely the sea-shore and the places 
where cities have existed : but woe to those who may ap- 
proach too near the mountains ! It were better for them 
that the sea received them into its profound abyss, than to 
be devoured by the anger of the Children of Hayti ! "War to 
death to tyrants ! — this is my motto. Liberty and Inde- 
pendence ! — this is our rallying cry." &c. &c. 

It will readily be granted that this is a most remarkable 
composition for a Negro : but it exhibits at the same time 
a detail of the crimes which were only imitated by the 



154 NOTES. 

" rebels " of Hayti. Nothing can entirely justify the 
atrocities of Dessalines against the French ; but as it is 
certain that the latter set him the example, we are surely 
not wrong in giving the uneducated Negro the benefit of 
whatever palliation may be admissible. This is the view 
I have taken of the subject ; and influenced by this 
opinion I penned the subsequent stanzas. I consider the 
defence given in his own words sufficient to convince any 
man that the conduct of the Negroes in that war of 
independence was mainly, if not entirely the result of 
what they themselves had experienced, and what is more, 
knew would be their fate in the event of defeat. 

" Jean Jaques Dessalines, emperor of Hayti, was a slave 
in 1791, when the insurrection of the Blacks occured in that 
island. His talents for war, his enterprise, courage, and 
unscrupulous conduct, raised him to command among the 
insurgent Negroes ; and, when Leclerc invaded the island, 
in 1802, Dessalines, and Christophe, stood next in reputa- 
tion and rank to Toussaint-L'Ouverture. After the de- 
portation of the latter by the French, Dessalines, Chris- 
tophe, and Clervaux took the command, and maintained a 
desperate and sanguinary warfare against the French, until 
the latter evacuated the island. This happened in No- 
vember, 1803, and the black chiefs having proclaimed the 
island independent, they nominated Dessalines governor- 
general for life, with absolute power. In October, 1804, he 
assumed the title and state of Emperor of Hayti ; his reign, 
however, was brief; for the people, aided by the troops, 
sick of his atrocities, and wearied out by his suspicious and 
vindictive conduct, conspired against his life, and he was 
killed, Oct. 17th, 1806, when thus ended a despotism 
stained by every barbarous enormity.' 7 — Belchamb. 

Candour will, perhaps, admit that Dessalines, in mili- 
tary tact and successful achievement, may be compared 



NOTES. 155 

to Buonaparte ; and that the latter in " barbarous enor- 
mity " of crime fell short of the former only by the defici- 
ency of means, and the circumstances by which he was, 
fortunately for his slaves and the world, perpetually held 
at bay. 

Tortured on the wrenching wheel. — p. 5. 

This is literally true. (See Pamphleteer, vol. iv.) It is also 
a fact that the Negroes " were carried by shiploads to 
sea, stowed like sheep in a pen, and heard of no more." 
Dead bodies floated to the shore. — Ibid. 

" The Consul (Buonaparte) had fully resolved that when 
he should have got the chiefs of the free Negroes in the 
West Indies into his power either by force or fraud, they 
should not live to oppose his tyranny in future. Witness 
his treatment of Pelage, the Toussaint of Guadaloupe, 
who joined the French General Richepause, and by pro- 
digies of valour at the head of his black troops, reduced 
the island to submission, relying on the solemn promises 
of the Consul, to maintain the general freedom of the 
Blacks. Yet his reward was to be seized by surprise with 
all his brave officers, and either sold as slaves for the 
Spanish mines in Peru, or, as is more probable, drowned 
at sea." — Ibid. The same author relates a fact witnessed 
by Bryan Edwards * (a Planter and slave-holder, and an 

* The author of '* The History of the West Indies." He was 
a member of the British Parliament, and one of the most 
virulent opponents of Wilberforce. On one occasion " he faceti- 
ously recommended that excellent man to employ his bene- 
volence at home — and take under his protection the race of 
blacks, which might be found in the streets of London under the 
name-of chimney-sweepers /" This will serve to shew the value 
of that author's opinions, when he affects to sympathize with the 
slave. It is also asserted that he either wrote or revised 



156 



NOTES. 



enemy to Negro-emancipation — the opponent of Wilber- 
force). The French had broken a Negro on the wheel, 
and left him to linger in his torture, when some English 
sailors came up, and dispatched the poor wretch, in mercy. 
This took place in the presence of the French ladies, who 
joined the torturers in scouting the kindhearted English- 
men for their interference ! I have before me many more 
extracts detailing similar atrocities on the part of the 
French — but these details can serve for no other purpose 
than to excite disgust. Enough perhaps has been said to 
justify the words of the text — not denying what is there 
implied, viz. that the Negroes made an adequate return of 
vengeance : the aggressors and the avengers were equally 
atrocious, but not equally guilty. Humanity must side 
with the oppressed ; and where is the nation that has 
been oppressed like the African ? 

( 4 ) " Toussaint-L'Ouverture, the celebrated black 
chieftain, was born a slave in the year 1745, at St. Domin- 
go : " or, as it is more probable, a freeman, in Africa.* 
" His amiable deportment as a slave, the patience, mild- 
ness, and benevolence of his disposition, and the purity of 
his conduct amid the general laxity of morals which pre- 
vailed in the island, gained for him many of those advan- 
tages which afterwards gave him such absolute ascendency 

" Park's Travels in Africa." There is certainly apparent a great 
similarity of style ; but the suspicion is strengthened by the 22nd 
chapter, where the benevolent traveller pretends to discover, 
that slavery existed at all times in Africa, evidently with the 
intention of palliating the injustice of the slave-trade. By a 
man's actions must his principles be tested. " Hypocrisy de- 
lights in the most sublime speculations ; for never intending to 
go beyond speculation, it costs nothing to have it magnificent." 
* Pamphl. vol. iv. Hist, of T. L'Ouvert. 



NOTES. 157 

over his insurgent brethren. His good qualities attracted 
the attention of M. Bayou de Libertas, the agent on the 
estate, who taught him reading, writing, and arithmetic — 
elements of knowledge which hardly one in ten thousand 
of his fellow-slaves possessed. When the general rising of 
the Blacks took place, much solicitation was used to induce 
Toussaint to join them: but he declined until he had 
procured an opportunity for the escape of M. Bayou and 
his family to Baltimore, shipping a considerable quantity 
of sugar for the supply of their immediate wants. In his 
subsequent prosperity, he availed himself of every occasion 
to give them new marks of his gratitude. 

" Having thus provided security for his benefactors, he 
joined a corps of Blacks, was soon raised to the principal 
command, and by his general intelligence, education, 
prudence, activity, address, and bravery, immediately at- 
tained a complete ascendancy over all the black leaders. 
From 1798 until 1801, the island continued peaceable and 
tranquil under the gouvernment of Toussaint, who adopted 
and enforced the most judicious measures for healing the 
wounds of his country, and restoring its commercial and 
agricultural prosperity. His efforts would have been 
attended with much success, but for the ill-judged expedi- 
tion which Buonaparte sent against the island, under the 
command of Leclerc. This expedition, fruitless as it was 
in respect of its general object, proved fatal to Toussaint, 
solely in consequence of the sincerity and good faith which 
marked his character. Toussaint was noted for private 
virtues; among the rest warm affection for his family. 
Leclerc brought out from France Toussaint's two sons, 
with their preceptor Coisnon, whose orders were to carry 
his pupils to Toussaint, and make use of them to work on 
the tenderness of the Negro chief, and induce him to 
abandon his countrymen. If he yielded, he was to be 



158 NOTES. 

made second in command to Leclerc : if he refused, his 
children were to be reserved as hostages of his fidelity to 
the French. Notwithstanding the greatness of the sacri- 
fice demanded of him, Toussaint remained faithful to his 
brethren. We pass over the details of the war, which at 
length ended in a treaty of peace, when Toussaint retired 
to his plantation, relying upon solemn assurances that his 
person and property should be held sacred. But notwith- 
standing these assurances, he was treacherously seized in 
the night, hurried on board a ship of war, and transported 
to Brest. He was conducted first to a close prison in the 
Castle of Joux, and thence to Besangon, where he was 
plunged in a cold, wet, subterranean prison, which soon 
proved fatal to a constitution used only to the warm skies 
and free air of the West Indies. He languished through 
the winter of 1802 — 1803 ; and his death which happened 
in April, 1803, raised a cry of indignation against the 
government, which had chosen this dastardly method of 
destroying one of the best and bravest men of the Negro 
race." — Belchamb. Chateaubriand and other writers in- 
sinuate that more, violent means were taken by the Consul 
to get rid of this unfortunate man. 

God can dash the towering down Qc. — p. 6. 

lf Valet ima summis 
Mutare, et insignern attenuat Deus, 
Obscura pron/iens."" §c. — Hor. Carm. xxxiv. Lib. I. 

" The atrocious cruelty of the French in their subjuga- 
tion of St. Domingo, equalled (it could not have surpassed) 
that of the barbarous Negroes * whom they opposed ; but 
was heard of with disgust and horror, such as no excesses 

* The converse would be nearer the truth. 



NOTES. 159 

of mere savages could have excited. As if Heaven had 
been moved by these bloody deeds of vengeance, disease 
broke out in the camp ; thousands died, and among them 
Leclerc himself, the leader of the expedition. For the 
last time, however, the French armament triumphed — and 
in the exultation of victory, the government at home had 
the extreme and seemingly purposeless ungenerosity to 
publish an edict, banishing all the Negro race from their 
European dominions ! * But the yellow-fever was already 
rapidly consuming the French army at St. Domingo ; and 
its feeble remnant, under Itochambeau, having been at 
length expelled in November, 1803, — the Independence 
of Hayti was formally proclaimed on the 1st of January, 
1804." f 

Of his children torn away 

In captivity to pine, $-c. — p. 6. 

Toussaint had confided his two sons to the French 
government; " and it would move the coldest heart to 

* Hist, of N. B. vol. i. 261. — Where also is quoted a sonnet of 
Wordsworth, Sept. 22, 1802. 

" We had a fellow-passenger, who came 
From Calais with us, gaudy in array, — 
A Negro woman like a lady gay ; 
Yet silent as a woman fearing blame ; 
Dejected, meek, yet pitiably tame, 
She sate, from notice turning not away, 
But on our proffered kindness still did lay 
A weight of languid speech, or at the same 
Was silent, motionless in eyes and face. 
She was a Negro woman, driven from France — 
Not one of whom may now find footing there : 
Thus the poor outcast did to us declare, 
Nor murmured at the unfeeling Ordinance." 
t Ibid. 



160 NOTES. 

read the letter in which he anxiously recommended them 
to its care and protection. At every line one might 
imagine the fond father's tears dropping on the paper ! 
Nor is its piety less striking than its tenderness ; for the 
chief request made in the letter was that they might be 
brought up in the fear of God and the knowledge of reli- 
gion. To take these youths from their studies, and send 
them out to inveigle their father was the project of Napo- 
leon. He has no children,* or his heart, cold and hard 
though it is, might have checked him in so vile a purpose. 
To feel its baseness fully, a fact should be known, which is 
true beyond all reach of doubt — that if Toussaint had 
yielded to the temptation, it would have been immediately 
fatal to him. The fixed design in that case was to tear 
him in a few days from these dear-bought children, and 
put him to death." 

" The time was now come to try the force of corruption 
upon the mind of this African patriot. The first game had 
been played with success equal to the Consul's wishes, 
except that Cape Francois had been burnt. The chief 
posts on the sea had been surprised and taken, according 
to his merciless orders ; the next point therefore, was to 
win over Toussaint, if possible, now that he could be 
treated with in safety. 

" Accordingly an ambassador was sent to him from the 
smoking ruins of Cape Francois, and the person chosen 
for the errand was Coisnon, the tutor of his sons. This 
man, as low in morals, as from his office we may suppose 

* This was written before the hirth of " the King of Rome." 
He (Napoleon) saw his son playing one day, and said to a bishop 
who was present, " My Lord Bishop, do you believe that this 
creature has a soul ?" — Chateaubriand. At all events he acted 
on the present occasion upon the supposition that the Negro en- 
tertained a better opinion of his children. 



NOTES. 161 

he was high in learning, was probably sent from France 
for this vile attempt on the father of his pupils. I doubt 
not that he had his lesson from the lips of the Consul 
himself. "With him were sent the two youths, the one 
about seventeen, the other probably fifteen years of age. 
They had been separated seven or eight years from their 
affectionate parents ; and were now doubtless improved, 
not only in stature, but every other point of appearance 
that could rejoice the eye of a father. Ignorant as the 
poor youths were of public affairs, they had been taught 
that it was for their father's good to comply with the 
wishes of the chief Consul ; and Bonaparte himself had 
talked with and caressed them at Paris, in order to 
impress that opinion on their minds. With these innocent 
decoys, and with letters both to Leclerc and the Consul, 
full of the most high-flown compliments to Toussaint, and 
the most tempting offers of honours, wealth, and power — 
Coisnon set out from the Cape, and proceeded to .the place 
of our hero's usual abode. 

" His cruel orders were to let the boys see and embrace 
their father and mother, but not to let them remain. If 
the father should agree to sell himself, and betray the 
cause of Freedom, he was to be required to come to 
the Cape to receive the commands of Leclerc, and become 
his lieutenant-general : but, if he should be found proof 
against corruption and deceit, the boys were to be torn 
from- his arms, and brought back as hostages. If nothing 
else could move him, the fears and agonies of a parent's 
breast might, it was hoped, be effectual to bend his 
stubborn virtue. A safe-conduct was obtained from 
Toussaint ; and the sacred faith of a soldier, whose word 
had never been broken, was engaged for the return both 
of the envoy and his pupils. 

" Coisnon proceeded with the boys to Toussaint's home 



162 NOTES. 

in the country. But on his arrival, the father was absent, 
— his urgent public duties having called him to a distant 
part of the island, where he was probably endeavouring to 
collect his scattered troops to make a stand against the 
invaders. The mother, however, the faithful wife of 
Toussaint was there; and we may imagine with what 
transports of tender joy she clasped her long-absent 
children to her bosom. The hard-hearted Coisnon himself 
says : l This good woman manifested all the sentiments of 
the most feeling mother.' 

" It was no hard task for the envoy to delude this 
tender parent. He professed to her, as he had declared to 
all the Negroes he met on the journey, (this he has not 
scrupled to confess under his own hand,) that the Consul 
had no design whatever against their freedom, but wished only 
peace, and a due submission to the authority of the Republic* 
The fond mother was ready to believe all he said, ardently 
wished that it might be true, and that her husband might 
see cause to confide in these pleasing assurances. The 
envoy has, unluckily for the cause of his employer, made 
it clearly appear in his account of this embassy, that if 
Toussaint had any object beyond the freedom of himself 
and his brethren, it was unknown to, and unsuspected by 
his wife. She instantly sent off an express to let him 
know that the messenger from the Consul was come with 
the offer of peace, liberty, and their children. 

" Toussaint arrived on the following night. The 
husband, the father, at length arrives, and rushes into the 
arms of his children. For a while he forgets that he 
is anything but a father. He presses first the elder, then 
the younger to his heart — then locks them both in a long 
embrace. Next he steps back for a moment to gaze on 

• Report of the F. Minister. London Papers, April, 1802. 



NOTES. 163 

their features, and their persons. Isaac, the elder, is 
so much grown that he is almost as tall as his father : his 
face begins to wear a manly air, and Toussaint recals in 
him the same image that sometimes met his youthful eyes 
when he bathed in the clear lake among the mountains. 
The younger is not so near to manhood, but his softer 
features are not less endearing. The father sees again the 
playful child that used to climb upon his knees, and 
the very expression that won his heart in the object of his 
first affection. 

" The miscreant Coisnon seems to value himself upon 
his firmness in pursuing his game unmoved by so affecting 
a scene ; for thus he writes of it to his employers : — c The 
father and the two sons threw themselves into each other's 
arms. I saw them shed tears, and wishing to take advan- 
tage of a period which I conceived to be favourable, 
I stopped him at the moment when he stretched out his 
arms to me, &c.' 

" ' they are villains every man of them — 

Fitted to stab and smile — to stab the babe 

That smiles upon them ! ' — 

" Coisnon retiring from the embrace of Toussaint assails 
him in a set speech, with persuasions to submit to the 
Consul, and to betray the cause of Freedom. He does not 
perhaps desire him in plain terms to permit slavery to be 
restored — on the contrary, he protests that there is no such 
design : but Toussaint knew too well the meaning of such 
professions : and that his discerning mind on this point 
should be so imposed on, after what had happened, could 
hardly be expected, either by the envoy or his masters. 
Toussaint was in effect desired to come to the Cape, and 
bring over his troops to the French standard. On this 
condition he was assured of ' respect, honours, fortune, 

m 2 



164 NOTES. 

and the office of lieutenant-general of the island,' all in 
short that the gratitude of the Republic could offer, or his 
own heart desire. On the other hand, if he should refuse 
to submit, the most dreadful horrors and miseries of war 
are denounced against him and his followers. The 
implacable vengeance of the great Nation is threatened ! 
Above all the father is desired to reflect upon the fate that 
awaits the hostage youths, so beloved, and so worthy of 
his affection. ( You must submit/ said Coisnon, ' or my 
orders are to carry my pupils back to the Cape. You will 
not, I know, cover yourself with infamy by breaking faith, 
and violating a safe-conduct. Behold then the tears of 
your wife ; and consider, that upon your decision depends 
whether the boys shall remain to gladden her heart and 
yours, or be torn from you both for ever/ The orator 
concluded, the youths themselves addressed their father — 
doubtless the mother joined in the supplication. During 
these heart-rending assaults on the virtue and firmness of 
Toussaint, the hero, checking his tears, and eyeing his 
children with glances of agonized emotion, maintains 
a profound silence. c Hearken to your children,' cries 
Coisnon ; c confide in their innocence — they will tell you 
nothing but truth.' Again the tears of the mother and 
her children, and their sobbing entreaties pour anguish 
into his bosom. He still remains silent. The conflict of 
passions and principles within him may be seen in his ex- 
pressive features, and in his eager glistening eye. Coisnon 
saw the struggle— he eyed it with a fiend-like joy, and was 
ready in his heart to cry out ' Victory ! ' when the illus- 
trious African suddenly composed his agitated counte- 
nance, gently disengaged himself from the grasp of his wife 
and children, took the envoy into an inner chamber, and 
gave him a dignified refusal. ■ Take back my children,' 



NOTES. 165 

said he, ' since it must be. I will be faithful to my 
brethren and my God.' " * 

This extraordinary man is to be classed with "Washing- 
ton. History records no act of cruelty or despotism of 
which he can be justly accused. We find in the History 
of Napoleon the following sentence : " The chief authority 
was by degrees vested in Toussaint L'Ouverture, a Negro, 
who during the war, displayed the ferocity of a barbarian, 
but after its conclusion, won the applause and admiration 
of all men, by the wisdom and humanity of his administra- 
tion." Bonaparte likewise, it is well known, caused his 
menial press to traduce f Toussaint when he found 
flattery of no avail. With regard to the former remark, 
it will not bear the test of common sense — it is improbable 
from the very nature of the accusation and subsequent 
praise. Every other author that I have seen speaks in the 
highest terms of Toussaint, as a man of virtue, valour, and 
intellect. Indeed it was his moderation during the war 
that rendered him suspicious and hateful to Dessalines, as 
may be gathered from a remark in the proclamation of the 
latter, which has in part been quoted. Buonaparte accused 
him of " hypocrisy " ! " But the strange vileness of 
Toussaint's hypocrisy consisted in this, that he was all along 
good in deeds as well as in words. So deep was Tous- 
saint's hypocrisy, that the great Consul himself, though a 
messenger from Heaven, i sent upon Earth, X (as he tells 

* See Pamphl. Vol. IV. Life of Toussaint. 

f Ibid. 

X Tyrants of every nation are necessarily alike in many 
features. Speaking of the condemnation, through private mo- 
tives, of the unfortunate Jane Shore, by Richard III., Sir Tho- 
mas More, in his interesting Life of that tyrant, thus speaks : 
" And for this cause, as a goodly, continent prince, clean and 
faultless of himself, sent out of Heaven into this vicious tcorldfor 



166 NOTES. 

us) to restore order, equality, and justice,' was grossly 
deceived by him ; for he gave the highest praises to our 
hero, down to the very day of setting a price upon his head ; 
and only found out his hypocrisy, when resolved upon 
putting him to death ! The truth is, that of all the many 
virtues of Toussaint, his probity was the most distin- 
guished. It was quite a proverb among our own officers, 
who long carried on war against him, and among the white 
inhabitants of St. Domingo, that Toussaint never broke his 
word. There cannot be a better proof that he possessed 
and deserved this fame, than the reliance which was placed 
on his promises in the nicest cases, by those who knew him 
best, and to whom his falsehood would have been fatal ; 
and it is a notorious fact, that the exiled French Planters 
and Merchants did not scruple to return from North 
America, on receiving his promise to protect them. It is 
equally well known that not one of them ever found cause 
in his conduct to repent of such confidence/'* 

" The person of Toussaint was manly. He was about 
the middle size, had a penetrating eye — a striking coun- 
tenance, and manners alike calculated, as occasion might 
require, to conciliate affection, or command respect. Ac- 
tive in all his movements, he was an excellent horseman, 
travelled with astonishing rapidity, slept little, and in- 
dulged still less in the pleasures of the table. He had a 
strong memory, an acute understanding, indefatigable in- 
dustry. Personal revenge for injuries done to himself he 
never gratified — he committed no acts of tyranny in his 

the amendment of men's manners, he caused the Bishop of Lon- 
don to put her to open penance, going before the cross in pro- 
cession upon a Sunday, with a taper in her hand!" 

* Pamphl. Vol. IV. — where is also related a case of unusual 
interest relative to General Maitland, an English officer, whom 
he had been solicited by the French authorities to arrest ! 



NOTES. 167 

public character — perfidy he detested; and even his 
enemies were compelled to acknowledge that his word was 
always religiously held sacred."* 

ToussaintL'Ouverture would have been an extraordinary 
man in any country : but, " an uneducated slave," as he 
was, " he acquitted himself as a general and a statesman, 
in a manner that astonished and confounded those who 
maintained that Negroes were incapable of intellectual 
improvement. "+ 

Brutus ! Rome was satisfied, Qc. — p. 6. 

L. Junius Brutus, son of M. Junius and Tarquinia 
second daughter of Tarquinius Priscus. The father, with 
his eldest son, were murdered by Tarquin the Proud ; and 
Lucius, unable to revenge their death, pretended to be in- 
sane. The artifice saved his life ; he was called Brutus for 
his stupidity, which he however soon after shewed to be 
feigned. When Lucretia killed herself, b. c. 509, in con- 
sequence of the brutality of Tarquin, Brutus snatched the 
dagger from the wound, and swore, upon the reeking 
blade, immortal hatred to the royal family. His example 
was followed ; the Tarquin s were proscribed by a decree 
of the senate, and the royal authority vested in the hands 
of the consuls chosen from patrician families. Brutus, in 
his consular office, made the people swear they never 
would again submit to kingly authority ; but the first who 
violated their oath were in his own family. His sons con- 
spired with the Tuscan ambassador to restore theTarquins; 
and when discovered, they were tried and condemned be- 

* Pamphl. Vol. IV. 

f Stewart. Many interesting particulars of the life of this 
great man have been necessarily omitted. The reader is referred 
to the Pamphleteer, Vol. IV. ; the Supplement to Edwards' Hist, 
of the West Indies, and The Life of Toussaint L'Ouverture. 



168 NOTES. 

fore their father, who himself attended at their execution. 
Some time after, in a combat that was fought between the 
Romans and Tarquins, Brutus engaged with Aruns, and 
so fierce was the attack that they pierced one another at 
the same time. The dead body was brought to Rome, and 
received as in triumph : a funeral oration was spoken over 
it, and the Roman matrons shewed their grief by mourning 
a year for the Father of the Republic* 

Nero to the world ! — p. 7. 

It were useless to enter into the details of all the ex- 
travagances and atrocities of this Roman Emperor. Many 
conspiracies were formed against him, but they were 
generally discovered, and such as were accessory suffered 
the greatest punishments. The most dangerous conspiracy 
against Nero's life was that of Piso, from which he was 
delivered by the confession of a slave. The conspiracy of 
Galba proved more successful, and the conspirator, when 
he was informed that his plot was known to Nero declared 
himself emperor. The unpopularity of Nero favoured the 
cause; he was acknowledged by all the Roman empire; 
and the senate condemned the tyrant that sat on the 
throne to be dragged naked through the streets of Rome, 
and whipped to death, and afterwards to be thrown down 
from the Tarpean rock, like the meanest malefactor. This, 
however, was not done ; and Nero, by a voluntary death, 
prevented the execution of the sentence. He killed him- 
self, a. d. 68, in the thirty-second year of his age, after a 
reign of thirteen years and eight months. Rome was 
filled with acclamation at the intelligence, and the citizens, 
more strongly to indicate their joy, wore caps, such as were 

* Lenip. 



NOTES. 169 

generally used by slaves who had received their freedom. 
The tyrant, as he expired, begged that his head might not 
be cut off from his body, and exposed to the insolence of 
an enraged populace ; but that the whole might be burned 
on the funeral-pile. His request was granted by one of 
Galba's freedmen, and his obsequies were performed with 
the usual ceremonies. Though his death seemed to 
be the source of universal gladness, yet many of his 
favourites lamented his fall, and were grieved to see that 
their pleasures and amusements were stopped by the death 
of their patron of debauchery and extravagance. Even the 
King of Parthia sent ambassadors to Rome to condole 
with the Romans ; and to beg that they would honour and 
revere the memory of Nero ! His statues were also 
crowned with garlands of flowers, and many believed that 
he was not dead, but that he would soon make his ap- 
pearance, and take a due vengeance upon his enemies. It 
will be sufficient to observe, in finishing the character 
of this tyrannical emperor, that the name of Nero is 
even now used emphatically to express a barbarous and 
unfeeling oppressor. Pliny calls him the common enemy 
and fury of mankind ; and in this he has been followed by 
all writers, who exhibit Nero as a pattern of the most ex- 
ecrable barbarity and unpardonable wantonness.* Bona- 
parte has been called by Chateaubriand, homme defer, and 
it is on this feature of his character that I base the com- 
parison. History is for the most part silent on the other 
features in which he had some resemblance to his pattern. 
But even in this 'bad eminence,' Buonaparte was not more 
immaculate than Ccesar — I have seen a volume on the sub- 
ject entitled • Amours de Napoleon." 

" Exemplum in nostro tarn detestabile sexu ! " + 
* Lemp. f Juv. ii. 48. 



170 



Heaven's scourge to sinning man — 
All included in thy curse ! — p. 7- 
" Saepe Diespiter 



Neglcctus incesto addidit integrum." — Hor. III. 2. 

Oft the Divinity neglected, strikes 
The guiltless with the guilty. — 

" YloWaKi Kai ^vfiiraca 7ro\ig KaKov avdpog fxavpd.'' Hesiod. 
Ofttimes the universal state must pay 
The penalty of one delinquent. — 

Again, " Because Manasseh King of Judah hath done 

these abominations Therefore thus saith the Lord 

God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon 
Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both 
his ears shall tingle." — 2 Kings, xxi. 11, 12. 

Slanderer of her Hero's fame. — p. 8. 

" This great man was also prepared for public by a good 
quality more important than all others put together — he 
was a devout man and a sincere disciple of Christ. His 
oppressors have called his religion, hypocrisy : but it is 
not to those impious men who profess themselves Maho- 
metans in Turkish countries, that we shall trust for the 
character of Christians. They were bojind to revile his 
noble heart before they destroyed him ; and they had no 
course left to take with his known piety, but to give it that 
odious name. Toussaint had nothing to gain but the 
favour of God, by openly giving him glory; for his 
Negroes had been taught little religion, and the people of 
France who had sided with them, were, for the most part, 
sworn enemies of Christianity. The bitterest enemies of 
Toussaint have confessed that he had no share with the 
crimes which attended the Revolution. This has never 



NOTES. 171 

been denied by his enemies ; and to shew how clear his 
innocence is, I will here quote the words of an author who 
is one of Jiis bitterest defamers. Dubroca, who was employed 
by Buonaparte's government to slander the unfortunate 
Toussaiht, in a libel called his Life, published in Paris, 
while they were offering rewards for his head at St. Domin- 
go, thus writes : " Far from taking any part in the move- 
ments which preceded the insurrection of the Negroes, he 
seemed determined to keep aloof from all the intrigues 
and violence of the times ; and certain it is, that history 
has not to reproach him with taking any share in the 
massacre of the white people, in August, 1791." This un- 
willing justice ought to have been extended to the whole 
term of the wars in which he afterwards engaged, during 
which not a single act of cruelty can be alleged against 
him."* 

If repentance touched thy breast, 

Ere the moment of thy doom, fyc. — p. 8. 

" He also gave directions to the priest Vignali, as to the 
manner in which he wished his body to be laid out in a 
chambre ardente (a state-room lighted with torches). * I 
am neither an atheist,' said Napoleon, * nor a rationalist. 
I believe in God, and am of the religion of my father. I 
was born a Catholic, and will fulfil all the duties of that 
Church, and receive the assistance she administers.' 

" On the 3rd of May it became evident that the scene 
was near its close. The attendants would fain have called 
in more medical men ; but they durst not, knowing his 
feelings on this head : ' Even had he been speechless,' 
said one of them, ' we could not have brooked his eye.' 
The last sacraments of the church were now administered 

* Pamphl. Vol. IV. 



172 NOTES. 

by Vignali. He lingered thenceforth in a delirious stupor. 
On the 4th, the island was swept by a tremendous storm, 
which tore up almost all the trees about Longwood, by the 
roots. The 5th was another day of tempests ; and about 
six in the evening, Napoleon — having pronounced the 
words * T£te d'arme'e,' passed for ever from the dreams 
of battle."* 



N.B. Five stanzas of the Prologue were published at 
the time that I composed them, a few years ago, in the 
Morning Advertiser, under the title of " Ode to Liberty ; 
or Sigh of the American Slave." 



NOTES TO CANTO I. 

Order rules the starry vault. — p. 7. 

Intending to exhibit Slavery as a derangement or dis- 
cord in Creation, I have contemplated the Order or 
Harmony which exists intrinsically in every other part of 
Creation, but Man. By Harmony or Order, I mean that 
consent of parts which co-operates to one great end. The 
text is meant to imply all the revelations of Astronomy. 

** Wide open to mine eyes Thy glories all! 
Majestic in eternity of years — 
Of Power, of Love, God will'd the rolling Ball 
Of universal Worlds— vast spheres in spheres 
Enchained still vaster ; and Himself appears 
Amidst, yet vastest, greatest ! and to Him 

* Hist, of Nap. Fam. Lib. 



NOTES. 173 

Concentric, bowing adoration, rears 
Each Might of World, His universal beam * 

Reflected from His face ! Meanwhile the grateful theme 

" Of all His glories sing they, unison 
Complete. No discord knowing— in sublime 
Immortal Diapason they begun — 
In harmony revolving. Jarring chime 
Self-moving, know they not— until He time 
Their periodic downfall. Harmony 
Were Discord then ! they crash, they reel, they rhyme 
Unto his Will disastrous ! Whilst on high 

Great GOD is glorified — unshaken Majesty ! "* 

The first object is to establish the harmony of irrational 
Creation. Not that " whatever is, is right " because it t* 
or exists — nor that " all partial evil is universal good :" but 
that the former is right, because God has willed it to be as 
it is. "We can form no notion of a better ordinance. 

Smiles unnumbered — avrjpiOuov yeXaoua. — p. 12. 

iEsch. ILpou. Atffu. 
( 5 ) Cruel means, by ends amended. 

Geology and Chemistry exhibit the Ends of Death result- 
ing from natural decay, and from violence, in the lower 
order of animals, as demonstrations of creative and pre- 
serving Power. It is known that simplicity of structure 
characterized the animals and plants of early creation. 
" Gradually as we advance through the higher strata, or, in 
other words, as we proceed through this record of pro- 
gressive creation, we find animals and plants of higher and 
higher structure ; till at last we come to the superficial 
strata, where there are kinds approximating to the highest 
of all animated tribes, namely, man himself." Destruction 
and Death were the order of the day throughout the era of 

* From an unpublished Poem by the Author. 



174 NOTES. 

each successive stratification. Plants were of speedy growth 
and rapid decay — they perished. The atmosphere that 
surrounded them, by the very principle which accelerated 
their growth when living, accelerated their decay when 
dead. Their decomposition added to the crust of the Earth 
that then was. The time of preparation continued. Every 
stratum has its peculiar plant — its peculiar constituent of 
Earth. Animals also existed — and were characterized in 
the same manner, — rapidity of growth — rapidity of decay. 
The work of deposition progresses — mass upon mass — the 
Planet is forming. Density is to compensate with velocity, 
for the vastly superior quantity of matter in its attracting 
centre. Its velocity was in proportion to its want of den- 
sity — hence its seasons must have differed in duration 
with its increasing density, and consequently decreasing 
velocity, and inclination to its axis — till by a succession of 
deaths, decays, and reproductions, the existing superficies 
was numbered the last stratum, and the existing orders of 
animals sprung to life at the bidding of the Creator, and 
Man appeared. 

Death still administers to life. Plants find their food in 
the soil and the air that surround them ; these in their 
turn yield subsistence to numerous tribes of animals which 
are their nearest kindred in creation. But even in these 
tribes annihilation has its ministers in the shape of insects, 
beasts, and birds, which all prey and are preyed upon — the 
strong displaced by a stronger, — when Man, bringing to 
his aid the powers of combined wants, keen acquisitive- 
ness, and the destructive engines of violence and craft, 
devised and multiplied by intellect in combination with 
the animal of his nature — takes the field as the arch-exter- 
minator in creation. Cruelty is the characteristic of man. No 
other animal tortures before it kills, except the domestic 
cat in some instances, when it retains its destructiveness 



NOTES. 175 

transformed into a semblance of man's eruelty by the 
natural wants of hunger, being pampered and accustomed 
to food which is preferred for its delicacy. Insects, birds 
of prey — the lion and the tiger, inflict the death of an in- 
stant. Co-ordinate selfishness directs them — they co- 
operate instinctively in the economy of creation — 

11 Cruel means by ends amended." 

But those means are only seemingly cruel. We con- 
stantly apply that epithet — but it is by comparison. "We 
tacitly accuse the Wisdom of God — we arraign divine Pro- 
vidence. Whence is the error ? Man's destructiveness is 
the result of unbridled passions — and we conclude that of 
the lower animals to be the same ! But, it is the result 
of wants, real wants, essential to the happiness of all God's 
creatures — wisely, then, ordained — benevolently supplied. 
The surplus of vegetable and of animal life is thus 
restricted. Hence the instinct of destructiveness ap- 
pears with a fury increasing with the necessity of extermi- 
nation. The natural history of the East and the West 
witnesses this fact in the most striking manner. The 
economy of the irrational members of Earth's family is, 
therefore, proved to be wisely established. Providence 
is justified. 

No discordant Passions mar, fyc. — p. 13. 

" In sailing over the sea of life, the passions are the 
gales that swell the canvas of the mental bark ; they 
obstruct or accelerate its course, and render the voyage 
favourable or full of danger, in proportion as they blow 
steadily from a proper point, or are adverse and tempes- 
tuous. Like the wind itself, they are an engine of high 
importance and mighty power. Without them we cannot 
proceed ; but with them we may be shipwrecked and lost. 



176 NOTES. 

Reined in, therefore, and attempered, they constitute our 
happiness ; but let loose and at random, they distract and 
ruin us. 

" How few beneath auspicious planets born, 
With swelling sails, make good the promised port, 
With all their wishes freighted ! " * 

" Perhaps the oldest, simplest, and most universal pas- 
sion that stirs the mind of man, is— Desire. So universal 
is it, that I may confidently ask, where is the created 
being without it ? And Dryden is fully within the mark 
in attesting, that 

" ' Desire's the vast extent of human mind.' 

" All the passions have their use; they all contribute to 
the general good of mankind; — and it is the abuse of 
them, the allowing of them to run wild and unpruned in 
their career, and not the existence of any of them, that is 
to be lamented. While there are things that ought to be 
hated, and deeds that ought to be bewailed, aversion and 
grief are as necessary to the mind as desire and joy. 
It is the duty of the judgment to direct and to moderate 
them ; to discipline them into obedience, and attune them 
to harmony. The great object of moral education is to 
call forth, instruct, and fortify the judgment upon this im- 
portant science ; to let it feel its own power, and accustom 
it to wield the sceptre intrusted to it with dexterity and 
steadiness. Where this is accomplished, the violent pas- 
sions can never show themselves — they can have no real 
existence ; for we have already produced evidence that 
they are nothing more than the simple affections, discor- 
dantly associated, or raised to an improper pitch. Where 
this is accomplished, the sea of life will, for the most part, 
be tranquil and sober ; not from indifference, or the want 

* Young. 



NOTES. 177 

of active powers, but from their nice balance and concord ; 
and if, in the prosecution of the voyage, the breeze should 
be fresh, it will still be friendly, and quicken our course to 
the desired haven. Finally, wherever this is accomplished, 
man appears in his true dignity — he has achieved the great 
point for which he was created, and visions of unfading 
glory swell before him, as the forthcoming reward of his 
present triumph." * 

a All violent passions are evil, or in other words, pro- 
duce, or tend to produce unhappiness ; for evil and un- 
happiness are only commutable terms." + 

" Strong passion, under the direction of a feeble reason, 
feeds a low fever, which serves only to destroy the body 
that entertains it. But vehement passion does not always 
indicate an infirm judgment. It often accompanies and 
actuates, and is even auxiliary to a powerful understand- 
ing ; and when they both conspire and act harmoniously, 
their force is great to destroy disorder within, and repel 
iDjury from abroad." J 

( 6 ) Thou hadst high Reason, symbol Speech, 

And inborn sense of Right and Wrong. — p. 13. 

" Man surpasses all other animals in the height and 
proportions of the forehead, and in the comparative mass 
of brain in the upper part of the skull. In the human 
head the lower parts of the face bear a smaller proportion 
to the forehead than in the brutes. The face is placed in 
nearly a perpendicular line with the forehead, instead 
of projecting outwards into a snout, as in the lower 
animals. The brute face is merely suited for the purpose 
of animal wants and for defence ; the jaws are long and 

* Mason Good. f Ibid. X Burke. 



178 NOTES. 

narrow, supplied with thick, strong muscles, and short 
teeth ; there is not the elevated nose, which in man forms 
a distinguishing feature, — the arched eyebrows — the ex- 
quisitely formed lips, and the rounded chin ; above all, 
there is not that play of varied expression, that air of 
intelligence, and that indescribable emanation of a ratio- 
nal mind, that ray of divinity, at the appearance of which 
the most wild and ferocious of the brute creation are awed 
and subdued. But, besides, the Creator seems to have 
allotted characteristic external signs to express the passions 
of the mind, that in social life man might not easily impose 
on his fellow-man ; for the various muscles of the face ex- 
press the several passions of the mind so faithfully, that 
they may be even represented in painting. This is said to 
be the natural expression, and would appear to be under- 
stood even by the lower animals ; for a dog, on looking to 
the countenance of his master, easily recognises the mute 
expressions either of commendation or dissatisfaction. 
From the action of these muscles, so often repeated, phy- 
siognomy arises : the action of the prevailing muscles fixes 
an enduring expression on the features; and traces of 
frequent anger often remain in the countenance after the 
passion itself is gone off. With the power of speech and 
reason, man has also the means of expressing his feelings 
and passions by laughter and weeping, manifestations 
which are not found in the lower animals." * 

* Chamber's Information for the People. (The Human Body.) 
— A most excellent work, combining cheapness with neatness of 
form, and a treasury of knowledge, useful, if not necessary to all. 
Even to those whose industry has been employed in studying 
more elaborate and lengthy treatises, it will serve to refreshen 
the memory, but too apt, in the most capacious minds, to betray 
its trust. Mothers and fathers would do well to place its weekly 
numbers within the reach of their children, instead of the useless 
and ridiculous trash, commonly called " tales for the young." 



NOTES. 179 

Symbol speech. — " Shortly after the commencement of 
our intimacy, Herder told me, in confidence, that he was 
writing for the prize, proposed by the Academy of Berlin, 
for the best treatise on the origin of languages. It was 
not long before he shewed me his Manuscript written in a 
very neat hand. I had never reflected on the subject 
of which he treated. I was too deeply plunged in the 
study of languages to think of seeking their origin. The 
question also appeared to me in some degree idle. In fact, 
if God created man complete, he must have endowed him 
with language as well as other faculties. In the same 
manner, as man must soon have remarked that he was 
able to walk and to make use of his hands, to seize the 
objects within his reach, he must also have perceived that 
he could make use of his throat to sing, and modify his tones 
by the help of his palate and lips. In admitting the divine 
origin of man, it was necessary to admit the same origin of 
language ; and if man, considered as one of the parts of the 
great work of nature, was a natural being, language also 
was natural. My mind was as far from separating these 
two things, as the soul and body. Silberschlag, mingling a 
sort of material doctrine with these arguments, had ad- 
vocated the divine origin of language, that is to say, that, 
according to him, God had been the preceptor of the first 
man. Herder ascended still higher in his treatise. He 
showed how man, with the faculties he possessed, might 
and must have created a language for himself by his own 
efforts. I read this treatise with great pleasure and 
benefit. But I was neither learned, nor profound thinker 
enough, to make up my mind very readily." * 

* Gothe— Mem. This opinion of Gothe is adopted, and well 
developed by Ugo Foscolo in his " Discorso sulla Origine e 
suH'ufficio della Letteratura. Ediz. del Prof. G. Caleffi, vol. i. 

X 2 



180 NOTES. 

Inborn sense of Right and Wrong. The first command 
given to the creature presupposes this : a command for- 
bidding or enjoining necessarily implies a sense or 
apprehension, that obedience would be right, disobedience 
wrong — in the subordinate. Now it would seem that dis- 
obedience, or wrong, could not be presented to the con- 
science of a being that could not possibly have any notion 
of it from experience — but, on the contrary, possessing 
every motive to obedience or right. I answer, unless it 
was inborn — coexistent with that of right. In effect, the 
finite creature could distinguish nothing but by a direct or 
indirect comparison. What notion could he have of length, 
but by comparing it with breadth or height ? No notion can 
occupy the mind positively simple — every notion is the re- 
sult of comparison. Let the experiment be made — this 
interesting phenomenon of the mind will be evidenced. 
Then, from his notion of right, man had the notion of wrong. 
May we not, therefore, conclude that a conflict was predes- 
tined ? that man was to have implanted in his breast the 
desire of happiness — that ample means were to be given to 
him — ample and adequate to ensure it — that, besides this 
preliminary happiness, a present good, was to be addition- 
ally rewarded with a future of increased beatitude ? Does 
not the definition of virtue hinge on this supposition ? Do 
the lower animals experience this conflict ? And still they 
perform actions which correspond wonderfully with those 
of man in seeming morality — but these are not the result 
of virtue, because not the result of a triumph in conflict — 
in them every deed results from a primitive and positive 
bent or instinct. This seems to be the destiny of man — 
a mighty conflict — ample means of victory. " The heart 
perpetually demands that its pleasures be increased, or its 
griefs bewailed ; it demands to be agitated and to agitate, 
because it feels that motion consists in life, and tranquillity 



NOTES. 181 

in death ; and finds its only aid in speech, which it warms 
with desire, and adorns with hope, and compels others 
to tremble at its fears, and weep at its tears : all affections 
which, without this outlet, would burst forth in wild 
gesture and desperate groans. Meanwhile the imagination 
of man, restless and ever credulous to the blandishments 
of a felicity which he follows side by side, step by step to 
the grave — the imagination, attracting from the secrets of 
memory the phantoms of things, and reanimating them 
with the passions of the heart, embellishes whatever it has 
admired and loved ; represents lost pleasures which are 
sighed for ; offers to hope, to foresight, the goods and the 
evils that glimmer in the future ; multiplies at once both 
the semblances and the forms which nature models for the 
imitation of man ; and tries to see beyond the veil that 
envelopes the creature. As it were to compensate to the 
human race for the destinies by which it is condemned to 
remain a perpetual slave to the impostures of opinion, and 
to the key of power, imagination creates the divinity 
of the Beautiful, the True, the Just, and adores it — she 
creates the Graces, and caresses them — she eludes the laws 
of Death, and interrogates and interprets its frozen silence 
— she outstrips the wings of Time, and to the flying 
moment which is present, she unites the space of ages 
without number, and aspires to Eternity. She disdains 
the Earth, flies beyond the shores of the Ocean, beyond 
the fires of the Sun, builds a kingdom in the Heavens — 
there she establishes man, exclaiming: Thou shalt pass 
above the stars .' " * 

* Ugo Foscolo (Sul. Orig. dell. Letter). One of the most 
powerful writers and ablest critics of the Italian language. His 
" Dante Alighieri e il suo Seculo " is a masterpiece. We have 
to lament that he did not publish an edition of that Author. It 
must however be observed that Foscolo is a man of antiquity. 



182 



Nimrod, first man-hunter, crushing 
As he trod, the Earth. — p. 15. 

" And Cush begat Nimrod : he began to be a mighty one 
of the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord : 
wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter, 
before the Lord. And the beginning of his Kingdom 
was Babel," Sec— Gen. x. 9, 10. 

He was the first who began to monopolize power on the 
earth, and gave occasion to the proverb, " Like Nimrod, 
the great hunter before the Lord." His hunting was not 
only of wild beasts, but also to subdue men, to reduce 
them under his dominion. Indeed the text above seems 
to apply the word " hunter " in the figurative sense only ; 
for " the beginning of his kingdom " is immediately men- 
tioned. It may further imply the utter recklessness of 
means employed by the first tyrant. Ezekiel (xxxii. 30. 
Vulg.) gives the name of hunters to all tyrants. The 
foundation of the empire of Nimrod was at Babylon ; and 

Escaping from the " impostures of opinion," he sought and 
imagined that he found in antiquity, " the semblances and the 
forms which nature models for the imitation of man." His 
sentiments are correct in general, but his hopes are ill-founded 
perpetually. This misfortune originates in the state of Society 
wherein he was placed. His pride of mind discarded all things, 
and found nothing instead. He has contributed another dirge 
to the misfortunes of genius — a life of tumult and the death of 
loneliness. The benevolent Hudson Gurney, who had in life 
cherished the unfortunate child of genius, gave him a resting-place, 
and a simple inscription in the cemetery of Chiswick. The 
writer of his life exclaims :— " Chi avrebbe mai potuto imaginare 
che colui che con versi degni del cedro pregava a tutti onorevoli 
mausolei, dovesse poi in un estraneo cantuccio della terra giacere 
senza uno condegno almeno del suo chiaro nome!— umana 
sorte ! ". . . 



NOTES. 183 

very probably he was among the most eager undertakers 
of the tower of Babel. He built Babylon at or near that 
famous tower, and thence he extended his dominion over 
the neighbouring countries, " and Erech," &c. When 
Nimrod had established the beginning of his empire in 
Babylon, and in the land of Shinar, he advanced towards 
Assyria, where he built powerful cities, as so many for- 
tresses, to keep the people in subjection. 

Some have confounded Nimrod with Belus, founder of 
the Kingdom of Babylon, and with Ninus, founder of that 
of Nineveh : but these are much later than Nimrod. Pro- 
fane authors have embellished the history of Bacchus with 
several circumstances taken from that of Nimrod. The 
name Nebrodeus, or Nebrodus, given to Bacchus, is evi- 
dently derived from Nembrod or Nimrod, though the Greeks 
derive it from a goat-skin, with which they pretend Bacchus 
was clothed. The name of Bacchus may also be derived 
from Bar-chus, " son of Cush ;" because Nimrod was, 
indeed, the son of Cush. The Greeks gave to Bacchus the 
name of " hunter," just as Moses gives it to Nimrod. The 
expeditions of Bacchus into the Indies are formed on the 
wars of Nimrod in Babylonia and Assyria. To Nimrod is 
imputed the invention of idolatrous worship paid to men.* 

O'er the earth its branches spread, 
High, — as low in hell its root — 

" qua quantum vertice ad auras 



JEthereas, tantiim radice in Tartar a tendit." 

Virg. Georg. II. 291. 

* Calmet. 



184 NOTES. 

By Man's lust, ambition fed, 

Gave him carnage for its fruit. — p. 16. 

" What are the eternal causes and ends of the universe, 
it is not permitted to us mortals to know nor investigate : 
but their effects are here exhibited, ever certain, ever con- 
tinuous ; and if at times we may lament them, we often 
find, in our experience, amends of consolation." We are 
now contemplating the effects of primitive disobedience — 
man, a rebel — earth, the field of the passions, in lawless 
career. Sad is the contemplation : but replete with in- 
terest. It tacitly develops truths the most striking, at least, 
even if we are not able to reconcile them with the wisdom 
and justice and bounty of the Creator — a proposition 
which is not to be admitted. " Man disturbs with fears 
the pleasures of the hour that is flying away, or despises 
them for the hopes which deceive him. — We are tired of 
life, and fear to lose it — we pant to perpetuate it in death 
— never-ceasing undulation of hopes and of fears, agitated 
more and more by the impulse of desire and the blandish- 
ments of imagination ! Such is the will of Nature, which 
has annexed inquietude to the very existence of man, who 
perpetually aspires to repose, precisely because he can 
never attain that state of rest. For, if the passions languish, 
the motion of the vital powers are retarded — if motion 
cease, life ceases ; and all our tranquillity is nothing but 
the prelude of the supreme and perpetual silence of the 
Grave. True, there may be, and are (alas ! too many) in 
the profligate, passions without reason: but reason, without 
the affections and the charms of fancy, would be an inac- 
tive faculty. All Philosophy will suggest sublime con- 
templations to the man that reflects — useful applications 
to him that is able to turn them to the good account of 



NOTES. 185 

humanity : but it will be unintelligible, unjust to those 
who feel passions which should be curbed. Besides, 
as Nature has not equally distributed power to all, so she 
has not armed all with an equal vigour of reason,* and 
without such an inequality and blindness of judgment — 
what real good would induce men to make one common 
cause in the field of battle ? to imbrue each other with 
blood for the possession of the earth, most abundant for 
all — and what good more dear than peaceful liberty ? 
But, by immutable decrees, the generality of men can 
neither be at rest nor free. Insatiable in their desires, 
blind in their means, unequal in their faculties, ever in 
doubt respecting, and for the most part unfortunate in, 
events — they were compelled, in spite of themselves, to 
choose the lesser bereavement, renouncing the guidance of 
their passions to the mind of the wise, or the power of the 
strong. Hence the human race is divided into many 
slaves, who resign the command of their own powers the 
more absolutely, in proportion as they are less capacitated 
to turn them to their own advantage — and, a few masters, 
who, fomenting the passions of others with the fears and 
rewards of earthly justice, and with the promises and 

* Des Cartes lays down as an axiom — " that nature has en- 
dowed all men with an equal faculty of reason. (Dissert, de 
Meth.) Rousseau begins his Social Contract with this sentence : 
" Man is born free : " both errors most disastrous continually to 
philosophy and to govemment.^-Foscolo. The former is proved 
false by common experience and common sense — I apprehend 
that the latter, to be true, needs but this distinction, as man. 
Man, as man, is born free — but being destined for society, he 
must subserve, to be subserved in turn — this principle should be 
the basis of legislation — that is, it should endeavour to prevent 
crime, not by penalties, but by making virtue the object of 
reward. Agricola pursued this plan, and succeeded. 



186 NOTES. 

threats of heaven — have the art and the power to make 
them promote the welfare of the public." * 

Arch-plague in Adrastcfs car, 

ArrrCd with stern Medusa's crest. — p. 16. 

The Furies of the ancients were three in number ; 
Tisiphone, Megara, and Alecto, to which some add Neme- 
sis ; more properly, however, the goddess of vengeance. 
Plutarch mentions only one, called Adrasta, daughter of 
Jupiter and Necessity. They were supposed to be the 
ministers of the vengeance of the gods, and therefore 
appeared stern and inexorable ; always employed in 
punishing the guilty upon earth, as well as in the infernal 
regions. They inflicted their vengeance on earth, by 
wars, pestilence, and dissensions, and by the secret stings 
of conscience ; and in hell, they punish the guilty by con- 
tinual flagellation and torments. 

Medusa was one of the Gorgons. They came into the 
world with snakes on their heads, instead of hair, with 
yellow wings and brazen hands. Their body was also 
covered with impenetrable scales, and their very looks 
had the power of killing, or turning into stones. Perseus, 
a celebrated hero, rendered his name immortal by the 
conquest of Medusa. He cut off her head, and placed it 
on the iEgis, or shield of Minerva, the goddess of Wis- 
dom, which he had used in his expedition. The head 
still retained the same petrifying power as before. 

If we judge from the symbols by which they were re- 
presented, it will seem that the ancients were not left 
without the hopes of reward and the fears of punishment. 
As far as these are concerned, the " inborn sense of right 

* Ugo Foscolo. 



NOTES. 187 

and wrong" has been at all times, and in every nation, 
most fruitful in devising allurements to virtue and pre- 
ventives to vice. The Mythology, or Fable of the 
ancients, is a perfect illustration of the remarks in the 
preceding note. Indeed, much may be learnt from this 
Mythology. It has been accused of gross licentiousness ; 
but the grossness may be in the accusers. It contains the 
sum of ancient opinions respecting the formation of the 
earth, the constituents of things, their changes and des- 
tinies, and the social economy as it should be, in accord- 
ance with the then supposed constitution of heaven. It is 
never to be understood in the literal sense, although the 
keenest ingenuity will, in many points, fail to unravel the 
mystery. But we should not blame the ancients too 
severely for the figures or symbols they have used to 
express, perhaps a general providence, in the " propensities" 
of Jupiter, so universal in their objects, nor for the ad- 
juncts with which they are embellished or degraded, since 
those who have handed them down may have " added to 
the text." Meanwhile, however, it may be observed, that 
those who do not object to the language of Botany* cannot 
consistently discard that of Mythology. This topic suggests 
many reflections, but want of space compels me to dismiss 
them for the present. 

Front to front, and hand to hand, 
Lowering rush the /lends of war. 

MaXXov 8e oti%iq apQev, mei [3aGi\fjog aizovaav.. . . 
'Qg cipapov KopvOeg re Kai aairidtg ouQaXoecrear 
Ao-irig ap' atnrid' ipside, Kopvg Kopvv, avepa d'avnp. 

II. xvi. 211. 

* The Song of Solomon might also be mentioned. 



188 NOTES. 

Twv it (TTixtQ ua.ro ttvkvcu, 
Affirtffi Kal KopvQtoci (cat ey%€(Ti 7re0piicyiai. 

lb. vii. 61. 

When all is lost, or nought remains 

But life in hopeless slavery, — 
The victor's pity and his chains ! — p. 17. 

Nimrod, profiting by the veneration which his courage 
had produced, and the fear inspired by his power, was the 
first of mortals that exacted the obedience of men. He 
abused their credulity, to play the part of mediator be- 
tween God and his creatures : he was the first king. The 
scattered people sought refuge under the protection of 
that mighty man, who, terrified by the numerous popula- 
tion that surrounded him, employed so many idle retainers 
in the construction of the Tower of Babel. The fear of a 
second Deluge animated their zeal. This important epoch 
of primitive times gives us an idea of the first foundations 
of principalities. Mankind, for several ages separated, 
had already created different languages ; the confusion of 
these languages, still rude and uncultivated, produced a 
new separation. The tower of Nimrod was not finished : 
but that destroyer of liberty was to leave to the world 
traces not to be forgotten of his ambition and his daring. 
Babylon rose on the ruins of Babel. About the same 
time, Assur, son of Shem, gives laws and his name to the 
Assyrians. Ninus, or Ninveh, his son or nephew, founds 
Nineveh : whilst Menes or Misraim, son of Cham, em- 
banks the Nile, builds Memphis, and reigns over the 
Egyptians : Chus, another son of Cham, and father of 
Nimrod, is established in Ethiopia. The empire of China, 
which vies in antiquity with that of the Assyrians, begins 

at this time to date more positive annals. Yao, her first 



legislator, reigns : with him begins the dynasty of Yia* 
But all is obscure — nothing certain, but the loss of liberty 
in the many and tyranny in the few ! 

Revered the foe whose bosom burrCd 

With stubborn fire unconfined, fyc. — p. 17. 

" The fame of Caractacus had already crossed the seas ; 
and the natives of Italy were anxious to behold the man 
who had braved for nine years the power of Rome. As 
he passed through the imperial city, he expressed his sur- 
prise that men, who possessed such palaces at home, should 
deem it worth their while to fight for the wretched hovels 
of Britain. Claudius and the empress Agrippina were 
seated on two lofty tribunals, with the pretorian guards 
on each side, and the senate and the people in front, as 
witnesses of the spectacle. First were borne the arms 
and the ornaments of the British prince ; next followed 
his wife, daughter, and brothers, bewailing with tears 
their unhappy fate ; lastly came Caractacus himself, 
neither dispirited by his misfortunes, nor dismayed by 
this new and imposing scene. Claudius, to his honour, 
received him graciously, restored him to liberty, and if we 
may credit a plausible conjecture, invested him with 
princely authority over a portion of conquered Britain." — 
LingarcTs Hist, of England. 

And Pagan Athens would defend 
The Anathema of cruel Fate, $c. — p. 17. 

" The condition of Slaves, (among the ancients,) and 
their personal treatment were sufficiently humiliating and 
grievous ; and may well excite our pity and abhorrence. 

* Vanderb. and Veim. 



190 



NOTES. 



They were beaten, starved, tortured, and murdered at dis- 
cretion ; they were dead in a civil sense ; they had neither 
name nor tribe ; they were incapable of judicial process ; 
and they were, in short, without appeal." How well have 
the moderns succeeded in giving the same features to Sla- 
very in Christendom ! " To this cruel treatment, however, 
there were some exceptions. The Egyptian slave, though 
perhaps a greater drudge than any other, yet, if he had 
time to reach the temple of Hercules,* found a certain re- 
treat from the persecution of his master ; and he derived 
additional comfort from the reflection that his life could 
not be taken with impunity. But no place was so favour- 
able to slaves as Athens, when declining. Here they were 
allowed a greater liberty of speech ; they had their 
convivial meetings, their amours, their hours of relaxation, 
pleasantry, and mirth ; they were treated in such a manner 
as to warrant the observation of Demosthenes, in Ins 
second Philippic, ' that the condition of a slave at Athens 
was preferable to that of a free citizen in many other 
countries.' And here, if persecution exceeded the bounds 
of lenity, they had their temple, like the Egyptian, for re- 
fuge, where the legislature was so attentive, as to examine 
their complaints, and to order them, if these were founded 
in justice, to be sold to another master. Besides, they 
were allowed an opportunity of working for themselves ; 
and if their diligence had procured them a sum equivalent 
to their ransom, they could immediately, on paying it 
down, demand their freedom for ever. To this privilege 
Plautus alludes, in his 'Casina,' where he introduces a 
slave, speaking in the following manner : 

11 Quid tu me vero libertate territas ? 
Quod si tu nolis, filiusque etiam tuus, 
"Vobis invitis, atque amborum i?igratiis, 
Una libellu liber possum fieri." 

* Herod. II. 143. 



NOTES. 191 

" Thus we find, to the eternal honour of Egypt and 
Athens, that they were the only places, if we except the 
cities of the Jews, where slaves were considered with any 
humanity at all. The inhabitants of all other parts of the 
world seemed to vie with each other in the debasement and 
oppression of these unfortunate people." * 

Once more remembers home — and dies. 
— " et dulces moriens reminiscitur Argos." — jEneid x. 782. 

She was herself enslaved ! §c. — p. 18. 
The period wasnow come for the intervention of a foreign 
power, which was to reduce all under its wide-spreading 
dominion. The Romans were at this time the most 
powerful of all the contemporary nations. The people of 
JEtolia, attacked by the Macedonians, with a rash policy, 
besought the aid of the Romans, who, eager to add to their 
dominion this devoted country, cheerfully obeyed the 
summons, and speedily accomplished the reduction of 
Macedonia. Perseus, its last sovereign, was led captive to 
Rome, and graced the triumph of Paulus iEmilius, 167 
b. c. From that period, the Romans were hastily ad- 
vancing to the dominion of all Greece ; a progress in 
which their art was more conspicuous than their virtue. 
They gained their end by fosteriDg dissensions between the 
States, which they directed to their own advantage ; cor- 
rupting their principal citizens, and using, in fine, every 
art of the most insidious policy. A pretext was only want- 
ing to unsheathe the sword ; and this was furnished by the 
Archaean States, who insulted the deputies of imperial 
Rome. This drew on them at once the thunder of the 
Roman arms. Metellus marched his legions into Greece, 
gave them battle, and entirely defeated them. Mummius , 
* Encycl. Londin- 



192 NOTES. 

the consul, terminated the work, and made an easy con- 
quest of the whole of Greece, which from that period 
became a Roman province, under the name of Achaia, 
146 b. c. 

Rome had acquired from her conquests a flood of wealth, 
and began now to manifest a taste for luxury and a spirit 
of refinement. In these points Greece was to her con- 
querors an instructor and a model : — 

" Graecia capta ferura victorem cepit, et artes 
Intulit agresti Latio." * 

Hence, even though vanquished, she was regarded with 
a species of respect, by her ruder masters.f 

Her birds are stolen — they unlearn 

Their notes ; or warble still to cheer » 

And humanize the Prowler stern 

That wept for Greece the Victor's tear! — p. 18. 

Since composing these verses I have met with the follow- 
ing passage in the " Voyage de Polyclete ; ou, Lettres 
Romaines " — a work evidently designed by its author, the 
Baron de Theis, to exhibit the manners and customs, &c. of 
the Romans, as the " Voyage du jeune Anacharsis," by 
Borthelemy, has portrayed those of the Greeks — nor with 
less success. 

" Aussitot que nous y fumes entres : * Jeune homme/ 
dit-il, voici votre logement : vous y trouverez tout ce qui 
peut vous etre necessaire ou agreable, et un esclave y sera 
toujours a vos ordres ; je le choisirai moi-meme, avec soin, 
parmi les nombreux serviteurs de cette maison ; et je ferai 
en sorte de placer pres de vous un sujet dont vous soyez 
content.' ' Qui etes-vous ?' demandai-je, e et quelle sorte 

* Horat Epist. II. 1, 156. f Tytler. 



NOTES. 193 

de fonction remplissez-vous pres du Consul ? ' * Moi-meme, 
je suis esclave,' repondit-il ; * des services deja anciens, un 
attachement sincere, une Education superieure a ma for- 
tune, m'ont obtenu la confiance de mon patron. II m'a 
charge' de l'e'ducation d'un fils qu'il cherit, et qui annonce 
des vertus; je dirige la conduite de ce jeune homme, 
je surveille ses maitres, et je lui apprends ce que des 
Romains ne pourraient lui montrer. Le Consul veut que 
je partage mes soins entre vous et le jeune Lucius : je 
serai votre interprete, jusqu'a ce que vous connaissiez 
la langue de Rome; je vous accompagnerai en tout lieu; 
je vous expliquerai ce que vous desirerez connaitre ; 
heureux si, pour prix de mon zele, vous daignez quelque- 
fois vous souvenir que nous avons une meme patrie/ 

" Je fus touche' de ces soins ge'ne'reux ; je le fus davan- 
tage quand je connus celui qui en dtait charge. Ne dans 
une condition honnete, jetd dans l'esclavage par le droit de 
la guerre, il avait adouci son sort en communiquant 
a ses maitres 1' instruction qu'il avait acquise pour lui- 
meme 

" Que de bonte, que de grandeur ! Eh quoi ! les memes 
hommes pourraient-ils etre a la fois injustes et magna- 
nimes ? Serraient-ils en meme terns d'une avarice insa- 
tiable, et d'une ge'ne'rosite * sans bornes ? Non : croyons 

* To the reflecting reader it must be often a source of wonder, 
whilst he meditates the histories of nations, how man resembles 
man in every clime. Frequently we have but to change the 
names of the actors, (whether ancient or modern), and the tra- 
gedy remains the same — the catastrophe unchanged. So, re- 
latively to the point in question, the condition of the slave in 
Rome was exactly what it was in the West Indies, and is in 
America ; and the master, or the Planter, in the three several 
instances are equally celebrated for "generosity" to all — except 
the slave ! This apparent contrariety of feature ceases, however, 



194 NOTES. 

plutot que la nature, qui place les plantes salutaires aupres 
des plus dangereux poisons, s'est plu a faire naitre un 
modele de vertus parmi tant d'etres barbares. Cette idee 
est chere a mon cceur : elle me permet de me livrer a toute 
l'etendue de ma reconnaissance pour Cneius Octavius, et 
de hair sans reserve le reste des Romains ! 

" Ce matin, Syrus, cet esclave grec dont je vous ai deja 
parle, m'a conduit vers son jeune maitre : nous le trou- 
vames occupe a traduire un paragraphe d'Isocrate. A peine 
eut-il appris qui j'etais que, se levant avec vivacite, " O 
Polyclete,' me dit-il en langue grecque, ' que de graces 
j'ai a rendre aux Dieux qui ont amene pres de moi un 
habitant d'Athenes, de cette ville celebre qui a produit 
tant d'hommes illustres ! puisse l'amitie que je m'em- 
presse de vous offrir, suspendre en vous les regrets de vous 
voir eloigne de votre patrie ; et puisse-je m'instruire pres 
de vous de ces sciences que cherissent les Grecs ! ' Tou- 
che de cette demande, je serrai, avec emotion, cette 
aimable jeune homme entre mes bras : c Oui,' lui dis-je, 
je serai votre ami ; nous travaillerons ensemble, et je serai 
heureux de contribuer a vos succes, autant que ma propre 
instruction pourra me le permettre ! ' Alors il me pria de 
lui tracer quelques mots grecs, afin de lui montrer, disait- 
il, nos caracteres dans toute leur elegance. Pour lui com- 
plaire, j'ecrivis ces vers de Sophocle, sur ses tablettes qu'il 
me presentait : 

" Helas ! oii suis-je infortune, 011 vais-je ? en quel lieu 

to surprise, when we reflect ^that there is a generosity of the 
heart, and also a generosity of ostentation. To the exacting 
shrine of the latter we daily see hundreds of pounds offered 
without reluctance : but the former has taken refuge in those, 
and, perhaps in those only, who are but a little less wretched 
than the poor man with whom they share their bread. This topic 
is touched upon in the third Canto, p. 86. 



NOTES. 195 

" irai-je perdre mes plaintes et trainer mes malheurs ? 
" O jours heureux ! qu'etes-vous devenus t ** * 

" Jugez de ma surprise, lorsque, saisissant le style avec 
promptitude, il traca sur-le-champ ce passage d'Eschyle, 
au-dessous de celui que j'avais cite : 

" Mars lui-meme donne a ceux qui echappent aux com- 
" bats, un asile respecte des Dieux. Tout notre coeur se 
" doit a Jupiter. Quoique sa lumiere e'clat en tous lieux, 
" j usque dans les tenebres,les e've'nemensde la vie n'en sont 
" pas moins impe'ne'trables pour nous ; mais, quelque ob- 
" scures que soient les voies de Jupiter, tout ce qu'il a 
" determine d'un signe s'accomplit." t 

" Charme d'une application aussi heureuse, * Apprenez- 
mo^, , lui dis-je, ' comment, dans un age aussi tendre, vous 
avez acquis assez de perfection dans une langue etrangere, 
pour en citer les meilleurs auteurs avec autant de 
justesse ? ' ' Vous voyez, mon maitre,' repondit-il, en me 
montrant Syrus ; e II sera le votre egalement ; il vous 
fera connaitre les Romains, comme il m'a fait connaitre 
les Grecs. Combien de fois ne m'a-t-il pas transport^ 
par la description de ees fetes brillantes, ou tant de 
nations assemblies se disputent le prix des beaux-arts ! 
Mon pere en fut le temoin, lorsque, dans ses premieres 
annees, il porta les armes contre la Grece. Malgre son 
amour pour sa patrie, il sentit la superiorite de la votre, et 
il voulut qu'un jour son fils ne fut pas etranger a ses nobles 
travaux. Peut-etre me sera-t-il permis plus tard d'aller 
m'instruire dans Athenes meme ; puisse-je y retrouver 
Polyclete, heureux au sein de sa famille, et puisse-t-il s'y 
ressauvenir, dans la prosperite, de ceux qui furent ses amis 
dans Finfortune.' " 

* Soph. (Edip. Act V. 
f JEschyl. Suppl. Act I. 

02 



196 NOTES. 

The final triumph of her King, 

Ere Grace emancipated all. — p. 19. 

The battle of Actium decided the fate of the common- 
wealth ; and Octavius, now named Augustus by the senate, 
and invested with the title of Imperator, was master of 
the Roman empire. He died at Nola, in Campania, in the 
seventy-sixth year of his age, and forty-fourth of his 
imperial reign, a. d. 14. At the time of his death the em- 
pire was bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the West, the 
Rhine and Danube on the North, the Euphrates on the 
East, and the deserts of Arabia and Africa on the South ; 
and these boundaries he recommended in his testament 
to be considered as the natural limits of the empire. 

A considerable part of the lustre thrown on the reign of 
Augustus is owing to the splendid colouring bestowed on 
his character by the poets and other authors, who adorned 
his court and repaid his favours by their adulation. 
Assuredly other sovereigns of much higher merits 
have been less fortunate in obtaining the applause of 
posterity : 



Illacrymabiles 



Urgentur, ignotique longa 
Nocte, carent quia vate sacro." 

One great event distinguished the reign of Augustus — the 
birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which, ac- 
cording to the best authorities, happened in the 754th year, 
a. u. c, and four years before the vulgar date of the 
Christian era.* 

* Tytler. 



NOTES. 197 

Slavery among the Ancients. 

Before we proceed to the contemplation of that system 
of Slavery which has surpassed all others in enormity, I 
have thought it advisable, in order to give completeness to 
the work, to conclude the notes on the first Canto with a 
short account of Slavery among the ancients. 

In the preface I have touched on the improbability that 
anything like Slavery in the strict sense of the word was 
predicted against Ham or Cham. Inferiority in the sight of 
Heaven, (on account of crime,) or something analogous, 
that prediction may imply; but assuredly anything but 
Slavery fell to the lot of Ham's descendants. The family 
of Ham produced the first absolute tyrant — Nimrod ! 
The founder of the Egyptian dynasty was from the same 
stock; and Canaan, "the land flowing with milk and 
honey," fell to the lot of these primitive Slaves. As it 
were to give the lie to the narrow-minded interpretation, 
the very next chapter of the sacred book enumerates the 
growing kingdoms of the " cursed Canaan." Nay, it was 
their blessed brethren who were the first to be " led into 
captivity ! " The Egyptians, the Philistines, the Chal- 
deans, the Greeks, the Romans, successively shook the 
whip of scorpions over the descendants of Abraham ! 
That the stock of Canaan never enjoyed the c< liberty of 
the sons of God " in the most extended social and moral 
sense, may be, perhaps is true — but that it was blasted 
with Slavery in the same extended sense, I believe to be 
false and inconsistent with the justice of God. 

I. The Hebrews had slaves. The sources which sup- 
plied the people of God with slaves have been enumerated 
in the preface. Their condition may be inferred from the 
sacred text : " If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years he 



198 NOTES. 

shall serve, and in the seventh, he shall go out free for 
nothing." (Exod. xxi.) " He shall have at going out the 
same clothes (i. e. quantity and quality) he had at coming 
in, and his wife shall go out with him." The Hebrew ori- 
ginal means, " If he came in by himself (with his body) he 
shall go out by himself, if he were married, then his wife 
shall go out with him. If his master hath given him a 
wife, and she hath borne him sons or daughters ; the wife 
and the children shall be her master's, and he shall go out 
by himself (with his body). If the servant shall plainly 
say, I love my master, my wife, and my children, I will 
not go out free ; then his master shall bring him unto the 
judges (Heb. Gods ;) he shall also bring him to the door, or 
unto the door-post, (of his master's house,) and his master 
shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve 
him for ever." {Deut. xv. 17.) According to the com- 
mentators, till the year of jubilee ; for then all slaves, with- 
out exception, recovered their liberty. The Rabbins add, that 
slaves were set free also at the death of their masters, and did 
not descend to their heirs. 

" If a man sell his daughter to be a maid-servant (or a 
slave) she shall not go out as the men-servants do," &c. 
(Exod. xxi.) The laws just mentioned do not concern her. 
There is another kind of jurisprudence for Hebrew girls, 
than for men or boys. A father could not sell his daughter 
for a slave, according to the Rabbins, till she was at the 
age of puberty, and unless he were reduced to the utmost 
indigence. Besides, when a master bought an Israelite 
girl, it was always with the presumption that he, or his son, 
would take her to wife. Hence Moses adds, " If she please 
not her master," and he does not think fit to marry her, 
he shall set her at liberty ; or according to the Hebrew, 
" He shall let her be redeemed." To sell her into a strange 
nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully 



NOTES. 199 

with her" as to the engagement, implied at least, to take 
her to wife. " If he hath betrothed her unto his son, he 
shall deal with her after the manner of daughters ." (Exod. 
xxi.) He shall take care that his son uses her as his wife, 
that he does not despise or maltreat her. If he make his 
son marry another wife, he shall give her her dowry, her 
clothes, and compensation for her virginity; or, according 
to the Hebrew, " If he make his son marry another wife, 
he shall not diminish the clothes, the maintenance, or the 
habitation of the former ; " intending, it is thought, that 
the master who bought her, and made his son marry her, 
if his son marries a second wife, he shall take care that he 
treats this first woman as his wife ; that he allow her food 
and raiment, and perform the duties of marriage to her, 
as to his true wife ; if he do not, " then shall she go out 
free without money." If the father of a family who had 
bought an Israelite maid, did not marry her, nor make his 
son marry her ; or, if he would dismiss her after he had 
kept her for some time, he was bound to find her a 
husband, or to sell her to another Hebrew master, on the 
same conditions that he had taken her himself; giving her 
a portion, her clothes, and the price of her virginity, 
agreeably to custom : or, as regulated by the judges.* 
Such were the restrictions on the tyranny of masters 
among the Hebrews — restrictions so ample, that we cannot 
but conclude that all their privileges were successfully 
nullified. In these privileges the Hebrews followed the 
rules common to other nations — but we have every reason 
to believe that no masters were ever as humane as those 
of the people of God. Let those, then, who justify slavery 
by scriptural authority, contemplate the model. Let the 
hypocritical Americans who do this wickedness, give their 

* Calmet. 



200 NOTE9 

slaves the Slavery-code of Moses — we shall be content with 
that for the present — more we shall have when the day 
arrives that God has appointed. 

II. The connection between victory and servitude, 
which prevailed among the nations of antiquity, has uni- 
formly existed in one country or another. Accordingly, 
the first class of involuntary slaves included those who 
were " prisoners of war." The practice of reducing pri- 
soners of war to the condition of slaves, subsisted both 
among the eastern nations, and the people of the West, as 
the very name * announces. The Helots became the slaves 
of the Spartans merely from the right of conquest ; and 
prisoners of war were reduced to the same condition by the 
other inhabitants of Greece. The Romans, also, were 
actuated by the same principle; and all those nations 
which contributed to overturn the empire adopted a si- 
milar custom; so that it was a general maxim in their 
polity, that those who fell into their power as prisoners 
of war, should immediately be reduced to the condition of 
slaves. 

The slaves of the Greeks were generally, or very com- 
monly barbarians, and imported from foreign countries. 

By the civil law, the power of making slaves is esteemed 
a right of nations, and follows, jure gentium, as a natural 
consequence of captivity in war. — Just. i. 5, 6. 

This is the first origin of the right of Slavery, assigned 
by Justinian. {Just. i. 3, 4.) Whence slaves are called 
mancipia, quasi manu capti. 

The Lacedaemonians, say some, or as others say, the 
Assyrians, first introduced the practice, which the Romans 
not only approved of, but they even invented new manners 
of making slaves : for instance, a man born free among 

* See note in the Preface. 



X0TES. 201 

them might sell his freedom, and become a slave. This 
voluntary Slavery was first introduced by a decree of the 
senate in the time of the emperor Claudius, and at length 
was abrogated by Leo. 

The Romans had power of life and death over their 
slaves, which no other nation had, except, perhaps, the 
Jews ;* but this severity was afterwards moderated by the 
laws of the emperors ; and by one of Adrian it was made 
capital to kill a slave without cause. The slaves were 
esteemed the proper goods of their masters, and all they 
got belonged to them : but if the master were too cruel in 
his domestic connection, he was obliged to sell his slave at 
a moderate price. The custom of exposing old, useless, or 
sick slaves in an island of the Tiber, there to starve, 
seems to have been pretty common in Rome. But who- 
ever recovered after having been exposed, had his liberty 
given him by an edict of the emperor Claudius, in which 
it was likewise forbidden to kill any slave merely for old 
age or sickness — a prohibition which evidently supposes 
the prevalence of the crime. Nevertheless, it was the 
professed maxim of the elder Cato, to sell his superannu- 
ated slaves for any price, rather than maintain what he 
deemed a useless burthen. The ergastula, or dungeons, 
where slaves in chains were forced to work, were very 
common all over Italy. Columella advises that they be 
always built underground ; and recommends it, as the duty 
of a careful overseer, to call over every day the names of 
these slaves, in order to know when any of them had 
deserted. Sicily was full of ergastula, and was cultivated 
by labourers in chains. Eunus and Athenio excited the 
servile war, by breaking up these monstrous prisons, and 
giving liberty to 60,000 slaves. 

* Calmet. 



202 NOTES. 

The Romans prided themselves on the number of their 
slaves — some possessed upwards of a thousand. They 
were distinguished into three classes : 1st. Captives in 
war, who were sold by auction, after having been arranged 
under a pike sunk in the ground, as an emblem of the 
rights of war; — 2nd. Those who were bought from mer- 
chants. They were made to walk in the public places, 
with a crown of flowers on their heads, to give notice that 
their qualities, expressed on a scroll, were guaranteed. 
Others had no crown, but only a hat, because the seller 
did not answer for the talents which they arrogated ; — 
3rd. The last class comprised those who were born in the 
house of their master. The condition of the last was 
somewhat softened; a long habit of servitude destroyed, as 
far as possible, in them, the impression of Slavery. They 
were more nearly allied to their patron, and were, in some 
respects, a part of his family. 

The Roman slaves were sometimes made free : but they 
were not even then assimilated to the true Romans. 
Although they enjoyed the most important rights, public 
opinion lowered them much beneath the lowest of the 
citizens. They could not aspire to the most unimportant 
functions in the state ; they were not admitted into the 
legions ; even their children were excluded, and they could 
serve only in the navy. They were enrolled in the lowest 
tribes, and there only could they give their votes in the 
assemblies of the people. Every provision made for them, 
was calculated to remind them of their former degradation. 
Even their liberty was precarious ; the freedman was ever 
bound to show his respect towards his old master — he was 
compelled to strip himself of his possessions in order to 
relieve him, if his master fell into poverty ! If he failed to 
perform these duties, he was driven into bondage again, 
or sent to work in the mines. Infine, he could, in 



NOTES. 203 

no instance, marry the daughter of a Roman by birth ! 
This exception was alone sufficient to exclude him from 
the ancient citizens. 

Now, let us remember that these men were white — at all 
events of the same family of mankind as the Romans were 
— say the Caucasian ; and still, because enslaved according 
to the rights of war or by other means — we find them 
exactly in the condition of the Ethiopic or Black family of 
man, in the "West Indies and the United States of America. 
How then will those profound divers into mysteries recon- 
cile these facts, when they tell us that there is a prejudice 
implanted in the breast of different families of the human 
race against each other, and based on the complexion, and 
that it is this complexion which is the motive of " preju- 
dice against colour ? " These facts need no argumenta- 
tion — they speak for themselves. I will put a case. 
Supposing one of those slaves had in different circumstances 
settled in Rome, and obtained the rights of a citizen — 
would he have been looked upon with the same contempt ? 
Decidedly not — History proves the contrary — one of the 
early speeches * of Cicero was for the very purpose of gain- 
ing those privileges for a citizen of Greece, whence slaves 
had been procured according to the rights of war. We 
read of no " prejudice of colour " against the tawny Afri- 
cans, amongst the Romans. As amongst the moderns the 
colour of their gold was the chief tariff of respect when a 
foreigner visited Rome in her latter days. Now I will put 
another case. Supposing an African, or a white man allied 
in the ten thousandth degree to the African, and known to 
be so, were to arrive in America — rich as a Croesus — would 
he be received into the society of the whites even of the 
lowest class, with respect ? Here is the answer — " These 

* Pro Archid. 



204 XOTES. 

persons, (blacks and coloured,) though many of them 
are possessed of the rights of citizenship, are not admitted 
into the churches which are visited by the whites. There 
exists a penal law, deeply written in the minds of the 
whole white population, which subjects their coloured 
fellow-citizens to unconditional contumely and never- 
ceasing insult. No respectability, however unquestionable ; 
no property, however large ; no character, however un- 
blemished, will gain a man, whose body is (in American 
estimation) cursed with even a twentieth portion of the 
blood of his African ancestry, admission into society ! ! ! ! 
They are considered as mere Pariahs, as outcasts and 
vagrants upon the face of the earth ! I make no reflections 
upon these things, but leave the facts for your considera- 
tion." I have copied these words verbatim from Fearson's 
Journey through the American States, in 1817 — sub- 
sequent notes will evidence that twenty years have not 
modified this " prejudice against colour " in the slightest 
degree. To what is it owing ? Not surely to any inborn 
abhorrence of the complexion of man against man ; for if so, 
the feeling would be common to all nations, which is not 
the case, for instance, in Englishmen. We have proved that 
a like prejudice existed in the Romans against their white 
slaves, and the cause was in Slavery itself. They were 
despised because they were slaves, or had been slaves. 
This is the fulcrum of prejudice in America. Abolish 
Slavery, and there will be no caste. Already we see these 
effects in the West Indies. Thirty years hence there will 
be no " prejudice against colour " in the West Indies. A 
few other remarks bearing on this subject will be found 
further on, when discussing the extermination of the 
Indian tribes of America by the Whiteman. 

I trust that sufficient has been said to give the reader 
an idea of Slavery among the ancients. It may be further 



NOTES. 205 

remarked that piracy was also a means of obtaining slaves 
in early times as among the moderns. Egypt is repre- 
sented in the book of Genesis, as a market of slaves, and 
in Exod. ch. i. as famous for the severity of its servitude. 
Homer also, (Odyss. xvii.) points out Egypt as a market 
for the human species, and by the epithet of "bitter 
Egypt," alludes in the strongest manner to that severity 
and rigour, of which the sacred histories transmitted to us 
the first account. Many of the iEgean islands and the 
continent of Greece furnished pirates in this nefarious 
trade. Tyre and Sidon, as we learn from the book of 
Joel, (iii.3, 4,6,) were notorious for the prosecution of this 
trade. This custom appears also to have existed among 
other States : it travelled all over Asia ; it spread through 
the Grecian and Roman world ; it was in use among the 
barbarous nations, which overturned the Roman empire ; 
and was therefore practised, at the same period, through- 
out the whole of Europe. However, as the northern 
nations were settled in their conquests, the Slavery and 
commerce of the human species began to decline, and on 
their full establishment they were abolished. Some 
writers have ascribed their decline and abolition to the 
prevalence of the feudal system ; whilst others, much more 
numerous, and with less strength of argument, have main- 
tained that they were the natural effects of Christianity. 
The advocates of the former opinion allege, that " the 
multitude of little States which sprung up from one great 
one at this era, occasioned infinite bickerings and matter 
for contention. There was not a state or seigniory which 
did not want all the hands they could muster, either to 
defend their own right, or to dispute that of their neigh- 
bours. Thus every man was taken into the service: 
those whom they armed, they were obliged to trust ; and 
there could be no trust but in free men. Thus the barrier 



206 NOTES. 

between the two natures was thrown down, and Slavery 
was no more heard of in the West." The latter opinion I 
have adopted in the Poem — true or false, it is indeed 
sweet to owe " the liberty of the children of God " to the 
Cross.* 



NOTES TO CANTO II. 

Silence is the best chronicle of the four hundred years 
that elapsed from the final triumph of the Roman arms. 
Rome had laid the basis of tyranny — it was a gestation 
whence the Earth was to be convulsed, and inundated with 
afflictions of every kind. A few lines will suffice to fill the 
blank of time between the events which have been des- 
cribed and those which are to follow in the page of 
Slavery. 

The new empire which Constantine had founded, 
rapidly changed the face of the earth. Men were living 
in Slavery : in the name of a poor and humble God, equality 
and a future state of bliss was preached to them — Christianity 
was embraced by all. But when shall human nature be at 
rest ? A lamentable fact is our only consolation ! Three 
several attacks have been made on the Christian church. 
The first was the Sword of Persecution — the second, laxity 
of discipline and morals — a third has been suggested, 
heresy, a term for which so many definitions may be given, 

* The preceding account of Slavery has been condensed from 
the Eneycl. Lond. ; Le Voy. de Polyc. ; and Calmet, Diet. 



NOTES. 207 

that we may doubt, at the present day, whether it be 
possible for heresy to exist at all ! Still the history of this 
" plague " ascends high in antiquity. Ebionites, Gnostics, 
Arians, and a host of other dissenters, were of early growth. 
The South of Europe took fire at their bidding, — and men 
began to persuade themselves that it was lawful to kill 
each other for the sake of subtile dialectics ! Sacerdotal 
interests soon mingled with those of Religion. Councils 
(there must be wisdom in a multitude) completed a reli- 
gious system; a hierarchy was established — the people 
enslaved — and the dignitaries of the Church progressively 
laid the foundations of a theocratic power, which sub- 
sequently undertook to rule the universe. The political 
condition of Rome divided into two empires, the Eastern 
under Valens, the Western under Valentin ian, contributed 
wonderfully well to the progress of ecclesiastical in- 
fluence. 

Jerome, in his retreat at Bethlehem, had been satisfac- 
torily triumphant over his Roman passions ; and had 
scarcely finished his pure and harmless meditations, when 
Innocent the First was wielding the sacerdotal power, like 
a tyrant, and had excommunicated, that is, rejected from 
the bosom of the church, the son of an Emperor, and an 
Emperor himself, Arcadius, the son of Theodosius. 

A new feature is given to war —the name of the Eternal 
and the Good becomes the signal of slaughter. But 
Vengeance has been brooding in the North — Goths, 
Vandals, Huns, a barbaric inundation gathered together, 
fell and broke on the capitol, the common enemy of man- 
kind, like the thundercloud of Heaven. It broke ; but in 
shattering, it was itself shattered — it fulfilled a mission — 
but the name of Attila is remembered, strong in its pride 
— the Scourge of God ! 



208 NOTES. 



Rome, Peter's chair in pastoral domain, 

Realms to her arms denied, her keys retain. — p. 21. 

Sedes Roma Petri, quce pastoralis honoris, 
Quicquid non possidet armis nunc Religione 
Tenet. — 

I am unable to state whose verses these are — having 
seen them in a controversial work, in early life. I think 
they were attributed to St. Prosper. Since composing the 
Poem, I have found in a writer before quoted, viz. Ugo 
Foscolo, the following passage, which, I doubt not, will be 
found in unison with the meditation that precedes the dis- 
covery of America. He is illustrating the epoch of the 
Divina Comedia, the divine comedy of Dante. Whatever 
interpretation we give to that title, its application is just 
and certain to the age of " Hell," " Purgatory," and 
" Heaven." 

" In their profound ignorance and misery, men, at that 
period, had but one consolation — religious faith. Menials 
pinned down to the soil, slaves, they scarcely dared to raise 
their heads: the feudal lords recognised but one true 
master and sovereign, God ; and the terror inspired by the 
bolts of -Heaven was the only counterpoise to their tyranny. 
Forcereigned in itsrevoltingnakedness — power constituted 
right. Shadows of monarchs sat upon perilous and totter- 
ing thrones; and in every direction, trampled upon by 
their great vassals, they obeyed instead of commanding. 
Meanwhile this social organization, which was fundamen- 
tally but an armed aristocracy, recognised another sove- 
reignty, that of Religion. The Clergy, who were the depo- 
sitaries of the canonical laws, soon felt that they were the 
masters ; and that these kings, these vassals, these 
knights, these subjects, these slaves who trembled at the 



NOTES. 209 

name of Christ 1 and his celestial Mother, constituted but 
one Christian people, whose movements the ministers of 
the Most High could direct as they pleased." 



The Moor 



Is driven from Alhambra? s hall, fyc. — p. 22. 

In the midst of disorder internally, and ceaselessly 
agitated from without by the ever-growing pretensions of 
the Spaniards, the Moors lost town after town in Spain ; 
and at length Grenada, their last stronghold, fell beneath the 
superior arms or fortune of Ferdinand and Isabella, whose 
union in marriage had consolidated the different kingdoms 
of the Peninsula. They were expelled from the country 
which they had adorned and ennobled for ages, and driven 
back to the cradle of their race, to transmit down to the 
latest posterity the rancour of long-remembered defeat, 
and the panting thirst for vengeance indiscriminately 
wreaked on all that bear the name of Christian. 

The misfortunes of kings yield salutary instruction to all 
but those who wield the sceptre after them. Boabdil 
surrendered by capitulation the Albayzin and the Alham- 
bra, and delivered up to Ferdinand the keys of Grenada, 
a. d. 1492. Pity had presided over the fate of the fallen 
monarch — a few miles of territory were conceded by the 
generous Spaniards to the proud Moor of Grenada and its 
dependencies. Accompanied by his family and a small 
band of his followers, he departed for his mock-kingdom. 
He reached Mount Palud, whence Grenada was seen stretch- 
ing in the distance beneath the Christian's triumphant 
banner. He suddenly stopped — the tears bathed his coun- 
tenance. " My son," said to him his mother Aixa, " you 
have reason to lament like a woman the loss of a throne 
which you have not been able to defend like a man." 



210 NOTES. 

Boabdil found it impossible to live as a vassal in a country 
where he had reigned as a king : he soon took refuge in 
Africa, where he died, fighting on the field of battle.* 



-Free — 



The Russ, she licks her cubs. — p. 22. 

Mankind cannot be reminded too often of the Muscovite, 
his existence, his meditations. But who can hear that 
execrable name without heaving a sigh for the fate of 
Poland ? 



A Borgia dims the Papal throne ! — p. 22. 

History relates with horror the crimes of Pope Alexan- 
der VI., and his illegitimate son Caesar Borgia, their 
murders, robberies, profanations, incests. They compassed 
their ends in attaining every object of their ambition, but 
with the universal abhorrence of mankind; and finally 
met with an ample retribution for their crimes. The pope 
died by poison, prepared, as was alleged, by himself for an 
enemy; and Borgia, stripped of all his possessions by 
Pope Julius II., and sent prisoner to Spain by Gonsalvo de 
Cordova, perished in miserable obscurity. + 

It will be evident from a subsequent note, that the name 
of this pope was forced upon me in the contemplation 
which preludes the discovery of America. However, as 
individuals do well to remember from time to time, what 
causes have produced disease in the system — so must 
bodies of men, likewise, bring to mind the past, and provide 
against the future. Even Borgia, then, may have been of 
service to the world. The crimes of the oppressor as ef- 

* See Florian, Precis. Hist. f Tytler. 



NOTES. 211 

factually contribute to freedom, as the virtues of the op- 
pressed. Meanwhile, I trust that the remarks which are 
to follow in these notes, concerning some of the greatest 
topics that fix the attention of man, will be received with 
forbearance, and judged with candour. I may be wrong in 
the view which I have taken of things — but I am sincere 
in my convictions. What benefit to the individual — what 
benefit to mankind — what glory to God? these are the 
three questions that have directed my pursuits ; and the 
" Voice in Raman " gives throughout the sum of my con- 
clusions. I respect the opinions of all — I hear them 
patiently — may I not hope to experience the same modera- 
tion from others ? In the Poet, thought and feeling must 
ever be intimately allied — the heart and the mind must be 
in harmony, or rather in unison — they must be one in 
action. Their vibrations are produced in accordance with 
the will of Heaven if the poet be truly a prophet ; and 
then the poet will be first to derive benefit from the strains 
which he is called upon to sing — for is not God their 
source beginning, and their object ending ? 

But in a nightmare dreamy fyc. — p. 22. 

We are now contemplating the age immediately preced- 
ing that of Luther. It is not difficult to discover, in every 
direction, the beginning of an insatiable spirit in the heart 
of Catholicity, variously modified, but acting ever reckless 
of means, and tending wildly to its end — it was Science — 
it was Avarice — it was Ambition. Already was the mind 
of man awaking from its centenary slumbers, — and human 
nature, shaking off the ignominious bonds which her own 
supineness had thrown round about her, was preparing 
" like a giant to run her course." 

It was at the very foot of the papal throne that the mine 

p 2 



212 NOTES. 

was sprung. Italy pioneered the way to the human mind 
escaping from its fastness. Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and 
Poggio construct a language for Italy : Leonardo da Vinci, 
Titian, Ghirlandajo the master of Mich aelAngelo, produce 
models of painting for the world. Popes and kings unite 
to patronize the arts, sciences, and literature, as far as their 
influence extends; and navigation, emboldened by the 
mysterious magnet, is eager to spread over the whole world 
the light of genius. Everywhere the ancients were con- 
sulted ; their works were read with ardour, and laboriously 
enriched by commentaries ; and whilst men appreciated 
their merits, they learnt to think for themselves. Learning 
and the Arts fixed the attention of Europe. The art of 
Printing was invented — Gunpowder was discovered; 
these two agents changed the face of the world. Countries, 
hitherto unknown, were explored by the Portuguese ; and, 
at the solicitation of the adventurous Henry their king, the 
Pope of Rome, Eugene IV. in the plenitude of his apos- 
tolic power, granted them an exclusive right to all the 
countries they should discover, from Cape Non to the 
continent of India ! * 

Then sped the mighty traveller, 
By opposition fired — p. 24. 

Columbus's offers were declined successively by Charles 
VII., Henry VII. (of England), Emmanuel of Portugal, 
and also by Ferdinand of Spain. But he subsequently 
found a friend in Isabella the consort of the last, who was 
forced to dispose of her jewelry to meet the expenses of 
an expedition, destined to cover her country with gold. It 
is said that the avaricious Henry VII. had already des- 

* See Rohert. B. I. 



NOTES. 213 

patched messengers, acceding to the proposition, when the 
pleasure of the Spanish sovereign was made known to 
Columbus. Imagination may here expatiate on the pro- 
bable consequences of South America, instead of the 
Northern portion of the continent, having fallen to the lot 
of England. But we have no time to dwell on conjectures 
when the most appalling facts are crowding to the mind 
and the heart. 

His rudder lost, fyc. — p. 24. See Robert. Hist, of Ame- 
rica, B. II. for a full account of the voyage. 



To find Cathay, or veer to the land! fyc. — p. 26. 

A friend has sent me the following quotation from 
" Rogers' Voyage of Columbus," which possibly may be 
supposed to have originated the description in the text. 
But I beg distinctly to state that I never read that work. 
Besides, it is morally impossible for two writers treating 
the same subject, not to have some points of resemblance, 
particularly when a fact of historical record is concerned. 
Further, without insinuating any disparagement, I may be 
permitted to observe that my pursuits in poetry have been 
exclusively directed to the ancients. The first poetry 
I ever read was in a Roman classic, and my first experi- 
ment of the moderns did not induce me to change the pre- 
dilection, which has still the same bias. Among the 
ancients I include Milton and Pope, for reasons which 
must be evident. To these two poets I confess my grati- 
tude. 

The passage in question is as follows : 

" { Grant but three days* — he spoke not uninspired. 
And each in silence to his watch retired." 



214 NOTES. 

Again, — 

" Chosen of men ! "'twas thine at noon of nighty 
First from the prow to hail the glimmering light ; 
(Emblem of Truth divine, whose secret rag 
Enters the soul, and makes the darkness day ! ) 
Pedro ! Rodullo ! there methought it shone ! 
There in the west ! and now alas, 't is gone — 
y Twas all a dream ! we gaze, and gaze in vain ! 
But mark and speak not — there it comes again ! 
It moves! what form unseen, what being there, 
With torch-like lustre fires the murky air 1 
His instincts, passions — say, how like our own ? 
Oh ! when will day reveal a world unknown ! " 
I have copied the above from a letter, and have not the 
poem in my possession — but, should there seem to be any 
resemblance in this or any other passage of the preceding 
description to passages in the said poem, I hope that the 
reader will exonerate me from the accusation of plagiarism 
or imitation. 

Mere sight the claim that chains, Qc. — p. 27. 

" But formidable and well provided as this fleet was, 
Ferdinand and Isabella did not rest their title to the posses- 
sion of the newly-discovered countries upon its operations 
alone. The example of the Portuguese, as well as the 
superstition of the age, made it necessary to obtain from 
the Roman pontiff, Alexander VI., a grant of those territo- 
ries which they wished to occupy." * 

Her vassals rise — p. 28. 

The separation of the colonies from Spain is too well 
known to require a detail in this place : suffice it to say 

* See Robertson. B. II. 



NOTES. 215 

that she has not at present an inch of ground on the con- 
tinent of America, North or South. 

Why have Christians murdered millions ? — p. 30. 

See Robert. (B. II.) for an account of the general con- 
duct of the Spaniards to the Indians and the systematic 
cruelties they practised against them. 

Frank'd by Faith's overflowing merits. — p. 30. 

61 The only obstruction the Spaniards met with was from 
Hatuey, a cazique, who had fled from Hispaniola, and had 
taken possession of the eastern extremity of Cuba. He 
had stood upon the defensive at their first landing, and 
endeavoured to drive them back to their ships. His feeble 
troops, however, were broken and dispersed ; and he him- 
self being taken prisoner, Velasquez, according to the 
barbarous maxim of the Spaniards, considered him as a 
slave, who had taken arms against his master, and con- 
demned him to the flames. When Hatuey was fastened to 
the stake, a Franciscan friar labouring to convert him, 
promised him immediate admittance into the joys of 
heaven, if he would embrace the Christian faith. ( Are 
there any Spaniards,' says he, after some pause, l in that 
region of bliss which you describe ? ' — ' Yes,' replied the 
monk, ' but only such as are worthy and good.' — 'The 
best of them ' returned the indignant cazique, ' have 
neither worth nor goodness. I will not go to a place where 
I may meet with one of that accursed race.' " * 

Vain the voice, and vain the tear fyc. — p. 32. 
" In order that he might not seem altogether inattentive 
* Ibid, quoting Las Casas. 



216 NOTES. 

to the rights of humanity, he published an edict, in which 
he endeavoured to provide for the mild treatment of the 
Indians," &c. 

" But the Dominicans, who, from their experience of 
what was passed, judged concerning the future, soon per- 
ceived the inefficacy of those provisions, and foretold, 
that, as long as it was the interest of individuals to treat 
the Indians with rigour, no public regulations could render 
their servitude mild or tolerable. They considered it as 
vain to waste their own time and strength in attempting 
to communicate the sublime truths of religion to men 
whose spirits were broken, and their faculties impaired by 
oppression. Some of them in despair, requested the per- 
mission of their superiors to remove to the continent, and 
to pursue the object of their mission among such of the 
natives as were not hitherto corrupted by the example of 
the Spaniards, or alienated by their cruelty from the 
Christian faith. Such as remained in Hispaniola continued 
to remonstrate with decent firmness against the servitude 
of the Indians."* 

Better far the BlackmarCs arm — 

Afrxc's stronger son's than theirs ! — p. 32. 

" The impossibility of carrying on any improvements in 
America, unless the Spanish planters could command the 
labour of the natives, was an insuperable objection to his 
(Las Casas) plan of treating them as free subjects. In 
order to provide some remedy for this, without which he 
found it was in vain to mention his scheme, Las Casas pro- 
posed to purchase a sufficient number of Negroes from the 
Portuguese settlements on the coast of Africa, and to 
transport them to America, in order that they might 

* Robert. Herrera, &c. 



NOTES. 217 

be employed as slaves in working the mines, and cultivat- 
ing the ground. One of the first advantages which the 
Portuguese had derived from their discoveries in Africa, 
arose from the trade in slaves. Various circumstances 
concurred in reviving this odious commerce, which had 
been long abolished in Europe, and which is no less 
repugnant to the feelings of humanity, than to the prin- 
ciples of religion. As early as the year 1503, a few Negro 
slaves had been sent into the New World. In the year 
1511, Ferdinand permitted the importation of them in 
greater numbers. They were found to be a more robust 
and hardy race than the natives of America." * 

Likest Satan fury-driven, S[c. — p. 33. 

" Into this wild abyss, the wary fiend 
Stood on the brink of hell, and look'd awhile 
Pondering his voyage" Milton. — B. II. 

'Mid redoubled human woes. — p. 34. 

The persecution of the Moors in Spain is here implied 
as contemporary with the extermination of the Indians. 
Of the former, Florian thus speaks in the work before 
quoted : + " The successors of Ferdinand, Charles V., and 
particularly Philip II., inflicted fresh torments on the 
Moors : the edicts of Charles, renewed and rendered still 
more severe by Philip, entirely changed the manner of 
living of that unfortunate nation. They were compelled 
to adopt the dress and the language of Spain — their wo- 
men were forbid the use of the veil — they were denied the 
use of the baths — the dances of their country ; and it was 
ordained that all their children, from five to fifteen years 

* See Robert B. III. 

f Precis. Hist, to his " Gonzalve de Cordoue." 



218 NOTES. 

of age, should be registered to be sent to the catholic 
schools, &c. The Inquisition was established at Grenada. 
Terror, desolation, torments were employed to convert 
them. Their children were torn from them to be brought 
up in the faith of a God who has ever denounced violence, 
who preached only peace. They were deprived of their 
possessions — they were accused on the slightest pretext." 

Now no longer on that shore, 

Where Loango meets the deep, fyc. — p. 37- 

I have thus begun the lament of affliction with a prelude 
of hope. Confidence in the power of this great nation, a 
power physical, moral, and intellectual, — and in God, the 
Disposer of events — raises the soul to hope even in the 
midst of despair. 

Loango is but a portion of the immense territory of 
Africa, which European cupidity has blasted with the 
curse of Noah. The slave-trade, at the time of its sub- 
sistence, may be said to have begun at the great river 
Senegal, and to extend to the farther limits of Angola, a 
distance of many thousand miles. On the rivers Senegal 
and Gambia, the Europeans proceeded in their ships till 
they came to a proper station, and then sent out their boats 
armed to different villages ; and on their approach to them, 
fired a musket, or beat a drum, to apprise the inhabitants 
that they were in want of slaves. The country people 
supplied them in part, and they also procured them from 
the canoes of the black traders from the interior.* This 
lamentable fact is adverted to in the third Canto,+ and will 
be considered in a note to the passage. The Moors who 
inhabit the left bank of the river Senegal, are notorious for 
depredations of this sort. They cross the river without any 

* Encycl. Lond. f Page 90. 



NOTES. 219 

previous provocation, and make war upon those on the 
other side of it, and bring them in as prisoners, and sell 
them at Fort St. Louis for slaves. Mr. Kiernan has seen 
the remains of villages, which they had broken up in such 
expeditions. 

The number of slaves that have been annually trans- 
ported from the African coast has fluctuated according to 
circumstances. In the year 1768, 104,000 natives of Africa 
were taken from their own continent ; and it continued 
much the same for the next five years. During the Ame- 
rican war, it was diminished. In the year 1786, the num- 
bers may be stated at 100,000 ; and the ships that conveyed 
them to the colonies at 350. The trade, before the aboli- 
tion, was confined to the English, Dutch, Danes, Portu- 
guese and French. England, in 1786, employed 130 ships, 
and carried off about 42,000 slaves. These ships were fitted 
out from the ports of London, Bristol, and Liverpool ; the 
latter of which alone sent out 90 vessels." * 

Shall the execrated prore 

Evening watch in ambush keep, fyc. — p. 37. 

" In the daytime, when they approached a village, they 
lay under the bushes ; but at night flew up to it, and 
seized every one they could catch." The first villages at 
which they arrived were immediately surrounded and 
afterwards set on fire; and the wretched inhabitants 
seized as they were escaping from the flames. These, con- 
sisting of whole families, fathers, brothers, husbands, 
wives, and children, were instantly driven in chains to the 
merchants, and consigned to slavery ! Many other persons 
were kidnapped, in order to glut the avarice of their own 
countrymen, who lay in wait for them ; and they were after- 

* Encycl. Lond. 



220 NOTES. 

wards sold to the European merchants : while the seamen 
of the different ships, by every possible artifice, enticed 
others on board, and transported them to the regions of 
servitude." * 

As when wolves in watchless field, fyc. — p. 39. 

" 'Qg 8e Xvkoi apvtooiv i-Kky^paov r\ tpiQoiaiv 
Stvrai U7r' bk /xjjXojv aXoevfiivoi, air* tv opiooiv 
UoifXEvog atypadiycri tfiEr/jayev." Iliad, xvi. 352. 

To the bark the captives borne, fyc. — p. 39. 

" When the slaves are conveyed to the sea-shore, they 
are carried in boats to the different ships whose captains 
have purchased them. The men are immediately confined 
two and two together, either by the neck, leg, or arm, with 
fetters of solid iron. They are then put into their apart- 
ments ; the men occupying the fore-part, the women, the 
after-part, and the boys the middle of the vessel. The 
tops of these apartments are grated for the admission of 
light and air, and they are stowed like any other lumber, 
occupying such room as has been allotted to them. Many 
of them, whilst the ships are waiting for their full loading, 
and whilst they are near their native shore, from which 
they are to be separated for ever, have manifested great 
appearance of depression and distress ; and in some cases 
have recurred, for relief, to suicide : others have been af- 
fected with delirium and madness; others, again, have 
been actuated by a spirit of revenge, and have resolved on 

* Encycl. Lond. I shall have occasion to quote this authority 
again ; and perhaps it is well to state that the account of the 
Slave-trade there given is drawn up from evidence given to the 
Parliament in the years 1791 and 1792. 



NOTES. 221 

punishing their oppressors at the hazard of their own lives. 
In the daytime, if the weather be fine, they are brought 
upon deck for air. They are placed in a long row of two 
and two together, on each side of the ship ; a long chain 
is then passed through the shackles of each pair, by which 
means each row is at once secured to the deck. In this 
state they take their meals, which consist chiefly of horse- 
beans, rice, and yams, with a little palm-oil and pepper." 

Soon the human freight complete, fyc. — p. 39. 

• When the number of slaves is completed, the ships 
weigh anchor, and begin what is termed the Middle pass- 
age, to carry them to their respective colonies. The 
vessels in which they are transported are of different 
dimensions, from eleven to eight hundred tons, and they 
carry from 30 to 1500 slaves at a time. The height of the 
apartments is different according to the size of the vessel, 
but may be stated to be from six feet to less than three ; 
so that it is impossible to stand erect in most of the vessels 
that transport them, and in some scarcely to sit down in 
the same posture." 

Coffined in the Whiteman's ship — p. 40. 

" "When the vessel is full, their situation is truly pitiable. 
A grown-up person is allowed, in the best regulated ships, 
but sixteen English inches in width, two (English) feet 
eight inches in height, and five feet eleven inches in length. 
Surgeon Falconbridge declares, that he has known slaves 
go down apparently in health, and brought up dead in the 
morning ! He once opened one of them surgically, to dis- 
cover with certainty what was the cause of his death ; and 
found from the appearance of the thorax and the abdomen, 
that it was from suffocation. He says, that once on going 



222 NOTES. 

below, he found that twenty of the slaves had fainted. 
He got them instantly hawled up on deck, but notwith- 
standing the quickness of his movements on this occasion, 
two or three of them died. And once, though he was only 
fifteen minutes in their room below, he became so ill him- 
self, that he could not get up again to the deck without 
help ; and he never was below many minutes together, but 
his shirt was as wet with perspiration as if it had been dipt 
in water. He says, also, that as the slaves, whether well or 
ill, always lie on the bare planks, the motion of the ship 
rubs the flesh from the prominent parts of their body, and 
leaves the bones almost bare. And when the slaves have 
the flux, which is frequently the case, the whole place be- 
comes covered with blood and mucus like a slaughter- 
house ; and as they are fettered and wedged close together, 
the utmost disorder arises from endeavours to get to three 
or four tubs, which are placed among them for necessary 
purposes; and this disorder is still further increased by 
the healthy being not unfrequently chained to the diseased, 
the dying, and the dead. Dr. Trotter, speaking on the 
same subject, gives us an equally melancholy account. 
When the scuttles, says he, in the ship's sides are obliged 
to be shut in bad weather, the gratings are not sufficient 
for airing the rooms. He never himself could breathe 
freely below, unless immediately under the hatch-way or 
opening of the hold. He has seen the slaves drawing 
their breath with all that laborious and anxious effort for 
life, which are observed in expiring animals subjected by 
experiment to foul air, or in the exhausted receiver of an 
air-pump. He has also seen them when the tarpaulings 
have been thrown over the gratings, attempting to heave 
them up, crying out, "We are dying." Most of them have 
been recovered by being brought on deck ; but some have 
perished, and this entirely by suffocation. 



NOTES. 223 

During the time that elapses from the slaves being put 
on board on the African coast, to the time when the re- 
ceivers leave the colonies, after having disposed of their 
cargoes, about one-fifth, or nearer one-fourth of the num- 
ber put on board are destroyed. "* 

When the Whiteman forlorn, Qc. — p. 41. 

" I was regarded with astonishment and fear, and was 
obliged to sit all day without victuals in the shade of a tree ; 
and the night threatened to be very uncomfortable — for the 
wind rose, and there was great appearance of a heavy rain 
— and the wild beasts are so very numerous in the neigh- 
bourhood, that I should have been under the necessity of 
climbing up the tree, and resting amongst its branches. 
About sunset, however, as I was preparing to pass the 
night in this manner, and had turned my horse loose that 
he might graze at liberty, a woman, returning from the 
labours of the field, stopped to observe me, and perceiv- 
ing that I was weary and dejected, inquired into my situ- 
ation, which I briefly explained to her ; whereupon, with 
looks of great compassion, she took up my saddle and 
bridle, and told me to follow her. Having conducted me 
into her hut, she lighted up a lamp, spread a mat on the 
floor, and told me I might remain there for the night. 
Finding that I was very hungry, she said she would pro- 
cure me something to eat. She accordingly went out, and 
returned in a short time with a very fine fish, which, hav- 
ing caused to be half broiled upon some embers, she gave 
me for supper. The rites of hospitality being thus per- 
formed towards a stranger in distress, my worthy bene- 
factress (pointing to the mat, and telling me I might sleep 
there without apprehension) called to the female part of 

* Encycl. Lond. 



224 NOTES. 

her family, who had stood gazing on me all the while in 
fixed astonishment, to resume their task of spinning cotton x 
in which they continued to employ themselves great part 
of the night. They lightened their labour by songs, one of 
which was composed extempore, for I was myself the sub- 
ject of it. It was sung by one of the young women, the rest 
joining in a sort of chorus. The air was sweet and plaintive, 
and the words, literally translated, were these: "The 
winds roared, and the rains fell. The poor whiteman, faint 
and weary, came and sat under our tree. He has no mother 
to bring him milk — no wife to grind his corn. Chorus. — Let 
us pity the whiteman — no mother has he," &c. &c. Trifling 
as this recital may appear to the reader, to a person in my 
situation the circumstance was affecting in the highest 
degree. I was oppressed by such unexpected kindness, and 
sleep fled from my eyes. In the morning I presented my 
compassionate landlady with two of the four brass buttons 
which remained on my waistcoat — the only recompense 
I could make her." * 

Plague and Famine's agony. — p. 42. 

From the description of the slave-ship before given, no 
one can reasonably doubt the probability of disease on 
board the vessel in the middle passage. In effect, when 
young and residing in the island of St. Bartholomew, I re- 
member seeing the sailors of a slave-ship, which, after 
having discharged her cargo in one of the French colonies, 
came to that island to refit. They were brought into the 
surgery of a medical friend of mine, who had to prescribe 
for them, I was struck with their wan and hideous ap- 



Mungo Park's Travels, Chap. XV. 



NOTES. 225 

pearance. Some were suffering from cutaneous diseases, 
particularly the itch — others from complaints of the bowels, 
and many from fever. 

With regard to the description that follows, it may be 
observed, that it is in accordance with the notorious atrocity 
which it is meant to preface. Continued calms necessarily 
cause a deficiency of provisions of every kind on board ; 
and, although the case described is an extreme one, there 
cannot be a doubt, that calamities of that description may 
have happened to slave-ships, as well as to others serving a 
less criminal purpose. But it was besides absolutely 
necessary to suppose the fact in the present instance, 
having to describe the murder of the Negroes in the 
middle passage, an act of barbarity which is well attested. 

When provisions fail, and the ship has still a consider- 
able distance to run, some effectual means must be taken 
to diminish the number of consumers ; and of course, the 
Negroes are the victims. Having resolved upon the 
number to be sacrificed, a plank is fastened by one end to a 
rope, which is made to pass through a block at the ex- 
tremity of one of the lower yards ; and the other end rests 
upon the edge of the deck or gunnel of the ship. A sailor 
with a musket is stationed beside this scaffold. The 
Negroes are brought one by one from the hold, and com- 
pelled to walk on the plank, which, at the word of com- 
mand is suddenly dropped into the sea, and the unfortunate 
wretches upon it sink for ever. This species of murder is 
called " walking the plank." I have described it exactly 
as narrated to me ; and not many months ago, a friend to 
whom I read the passage in the poem, told me that he had 
lately heard the horrible fact from a Naval Officer, who had 
been engaged in capturing slave-ships. It is also described 
in a life of Wilberforce, which I have read, but cannot 



226 xotes. 

refer to at present, having forgotten the name of the 
author. 

Gold gives beauty every grace, 
Gold can mantle in the face. — p. 46. 

" Scilicet uxorem cum dote, fidemque, et amicos, 
Et genus, etformam, regina Pecunia donat ; 
Ac bene nummatum decorat Suadela, Venusque." 

Horace, Sat. I. 6. 

Gold — the balm for every pain, fyc. — p. 45. 

The Slaver's song is intended to give the opinions 
of those, who, seeking to accumulate gold as an end, have 
been most reckless of the means which they have em- 
ployed. It is not the miser only who considers gold as an 
end. That infatuation is evinced in more " honourable 
men " — those who know that they have few other claims 
on the world's respect than that which their money pro- 
cures them — who, perhaps unfortunately placed in a pro- 
fession, which, by its very nature brings them in contact 
with all the villany of mankind, have reached the grand 
climacteric of worldly wisdom, which is, to suspect all — 
to trust none — to seek their own interest in all things — 
and to look upon the unfortunate as victims of their own 
imprudence, as strangers to whom they have no inclination 
to be introduced — and, whilst they keep aloof from such 
crimes as would compromise their " character," their 
" standing in society," riot in the good things of this world, 
and— but here they have all their reward — their deathbed 
turns over another page — but it is in a language which 
they have fotgotten or never learnt, and have no time to 
learn when the great secret is about to be revealed. They 



NOTES. 22> 

run whilst the fluid of life revels in their veins ; they 
endeavour to leave monuments of their career : but in the 
hey-day of hope, the supply of life is withheld — suddenly, 
like the exhausted gas-tube, they feel the want — they 
twinkle — they make a few useless struggles — pray to be 
replenished — and drop into the grave ! 

How fares the night ? — p. 48. 

I have availed myself of the common superstition of 
sailors to exhibit the tortures of conscience. The ancients, 
with their usual strength of conception, invented Furies : 
but men are virtually the same in every age — and it may 
be asserted that there is not a man guilty of any heinous 
crime, who is not perpetually reminded of his guilt — this 
is the fact, — what matters it how that fact is repre- 
sented or figured ? Providence is justified. This is the 
simple view of the question. But there are evidences on 
record, and in the traditions* of men, which should compel 
the philosopher, as on many other points of human un- 
certainty, to suspend the judgment of unbelief. We have 
made rapid progress in the investigation of nature, but the 
supernatural will ever elude research. Agreeably to our 
finite notions, we have circumscribed the regions of hea- 
venly bliss to an imaginable locality, whilst it is evident 
that heaven is where God is, and God is everywhere ! No 
imagination then is equal to the conception of Heaven, 
since it must be infinite ; if infinite, those that enjoy 
heaven, must enjoy infinitude. How this is effected, God 
only knows ; for it is not necessary that those even who 
enjoy it, should be made acquainted with the eternal 
cause. If, then, spirits are everywhere, why may they not 

* Particularly among sailors, from whom I have heard many a 
marvellous narrative of the midnight-hour. 

Q 2 



228 NOTES. 

have their agencies to perform everywhere ? why may not 
bad men have their flagellating angels, as well as good men 
their consolers and approvers ? — This view of the question 
seems to be presented by the doctrine of Providence, which 
is essentially remunerative and castigatory in its universal 
application. 

Round the ship the waters rot, fyc. — p. 50. 

" Upon which, all the sea became so replenished with 
various sorts of jellies and forms of serpents, adders, and 
snakes, as seemed wonderful; some green, some black, 
some yellow, some white, some of divers colours, and many 
of them had life ; and some there were a yard and a half, 
and two yards long ; which, had I not seen, I could hardly 
have believed. And hereof were witnesses all the com- 
panies of the ships which were then present ; so that a 
man could hardly draw a bucket of water clear of some 
corruption." * 

After having been becalmed for a week or ten days on 
the Atlantic, I have more than once perceived an odour 
rising in the evening, like that on the sea-shore, after the 
mosses are dried up by the sun. Upon remarking this to 
the mate of the ship, he told me that one of the ships of 
the Navy was becalmed for three weeks or a month in the 
warm latitudes ; and that the water round her entirely 
corrupted, so as to be utterly unfit for use in washing the 
decks, &c. 

These calms usually prevail just before the commence- 
ment of the Trade-wind, and which often begins with a sharp 
squall as described in the subsequent verses to the one in 
consideration. In general, however, white fleecy clouds 
are seen for several days rising in the East — then a sail or 

* Hawkins. 



two in the distant horizon — the sea in the same quarter 
becomes dimly blue — more sails appear — they are coming 
up to us, whilst we are motionless in calm — their hulls are 
visible — a shower of rain descends, and as it were from its 
bosom, the Trade-wind is born again with redoubled 
strength and gladness. 

The text describes a squall which I experienced on the 
coast of America some years ago. " Helm down ! Stand 
by the mast ! " was the cry of the skipper, and I shall 
never forget the scene that struck my eyes on rushing to 
the cabin-door. " Bring up the hatchet ! " was next heard, 
whilst obedient to the helm, the brig shot to windward, 
diving, as it were, into the destroyer. The vessel was 
entirely enveloped in spray as the waves dashed past, aw- 
fully roaring. Every sheet was let loose, and the sails 
shivered in the wind. " Steady ! " whispered the captain, 
" Steady ! Sir," returned the helmsman, and the ship was 
driven backwards by the gale with fearful rapidity. All 
was breathless expectation — when turning we beheld the 
squall, like a destroying angel careering astern. " Safe ! " 
exclaimed the captain — " Thanks be to God ! I thought it 
was all over with us ! " The whole scene passed in about 
four minutes ! There was a small schooner in sight before 
the squall : but we never saw her after. 

But now as swan with bosom sleek, Qc. — p. 51. 

There is no object in nature to which a ship in full-sail 
can be so appropriately compared as the swan. The swan 
is a mythological bird. Many ancient heroes have been 
changed into a swan. Among the rest we find Ct/cnus, a 
son of Sthemelus, King of Liguria, whose capital was 
Genua, now Genoa, from all times a great sea-port. Cycnus 
was so affected at the death of his friend and relation, 



230 NOTES. 

Phaeton, that he gave way to the most dismal lamentations ; 
and, in the midst of these, he was changed into a swan ; — 

" Carmina jam moriens canit exequialia Cycnus — " 

says Ovid. I therefore venture the supposition, that the 
story refers to the hero, who, like the swan, was fond of the 
Ocean, where he had appeared most beautiful in his ships, 
like the swan ; and his dying accents " most musical, most 
melancholy," have been transferred in the nova forma, into 
which fancy, by a sweet allegory, supposed him to be 
changed. Certainly a hiss is all that the Amnicola utters 
now-a-days : — 

" Dat sonitum raucus per stagna loquacia Cycnus." 

Luccock * mentions, that a purple bird called a Sabiar 
was shot near St. Gonzales, and though badly wounded, 
immediately set up a full and melodious song, which 
continued until its latest moment. 

The rapid Dolphins round her fly. — p. 51. 

The Dolphin is a mythological fish, and has been alluded 
to before.f The story has been beautifully narrated by 
Herodotus and Lucian. Arion was a minstrel, a trouba- 
dour as it were, who met with favour in the presence of 
Periander, the king of Corinth. The king gave him plenty 
of money : but the poet's heart yearned for his country : 
he would return home, and the king consented. He pre- 
ferred to sail in a ship of his own countrymen : but when 
they had made good half their way across the Mgean, in 
mid-ocean, they conspired against their defenceless passen- 
ger, to throw him into the sea, and take his money. Arion 
besought them to spare his life; but finding all his 

* Notes on Rio de Jan. -f Page, 26. 



NOTES. 231 

entreaties vain, he begged them, as a last favour, to permit 
him to put on his minstrel's dress, and sing his dirge. They 
consented. So he put on his dress, and harp in hand, he 
sung melodiously sweet — and leaped into the billow. But 
the Dolphins had heard his doleful song, and when they 
found the minstrel in the midst of them, one even kinder 
than the rest who pitied his fate, took Arion on his back, 
and carried him safe to Taenerus. Hence the Dolphin was 
always called a philanthropist, till the invention of har- 
poons and grains — both murderous weapons — steeled his 
heart against man, whom he now shuns as much as possible ; 
and, like other philanthropists, when they have not 
received the good return they expected for their good 
deeds, his temper has become soured against his own 
fellow-fishes, as well as against man, and he seems to take 
a savage delight in pursuing the poor little Flying-fish, 
because the flying-fish sometimes visits the element of man, 
who has rewarded the good deed of Arion's friend by per- 
secuting all his descendants. So great is the resentment 
of the Dolphins ! Arion, would now-a-days sing in vain, 
albeit iravv \iyvpwg, very sweetly. 

The Dolphin is called Coryphcena by naturalists. He 
swims with great rapidity, darting through the waves like 
a meteor ; and when the sun is bright, he exhibits a most 
remarkable variety of splendid colours, seeming a rain- 
bow of the sea. The Dolphin is celebrated for his change 
of colour when dying on the deck. He is a terrible Attila 
among the Flying-fish, whom he devours with extreme 
voracity. When the flying-fish is on the wing above the 
water, you can see the blood-hound flashing along the sur- 
face beneath the doomed fugitive, till it falls into his 
crushing fangs. 

Now throng the Dancers of the deep, $c. — p. 51. 

The Porpoise or Porpus, or sea-hog, is of the same tribe 



232 NOTES. 

as the preceding, but much larger, and does not prey on 
the flying-fish. Indeed he seems nearer allied to the whale, 
for I believe he does not live on animal food (his flesh may 
be an evidence of this,) and is in his habits, not unlike 
Leviathan. This fish does really seem always in a good 
humour except when floundering on the deck. Nothing 
is more inspirating than a shoal of Porpoises vaulting over 
the billows. They seem to love a fresh gale, and you may 
see them in their Pyrrhic dance, all rising and sinking to- 
gether, and the sound seems as of one vibration. They 
sometimes approach very near the ship in pairs, for they 
are very gregarious, and are evidently very friendly to each 
other as long as life lasts : but should one be struck by the 
harpoon and escape, he is immediately devoured by the 
rest — perhaps by his own children, like a certain nation 
among the ancients, and I believe in New Zealand when 
first discovered, who considered it a sacred duty to eat 
their parents as soon as they died. 



NOTES TO CANTO III. 

Still they'd have us bless the hand. . . . 
Thus their mercy hath decreed, fyc. — p. 55. 

I propose in the following note to consider the " set 
off" which was thrown in the face of the Abolitionists as 
conclusive in favour of Slavery. A few concessions must, 
however, be premised. 1. That the Negro was unjustly 
enslaved. 2. That no treatment, however kind, would be 
deemed, morally or legally, an excuse for enslaving an 



NOTES. 233 

European. 3. That this " kind treatment," in its most 
extended sense, and consequently, real sense, was depen- 
dent on the will of the Planter — for no legislature can 
change the heart, nor deprive a bad man of every means 
of doing evil. 4. That there have been Planters who 
treated their slaves with mercy, I frankly admit: but 
where tyranny is the order of the day, mercy treads her 
path only in the twilight hour. 

" It may truly be said," says Mr. Stewart, * that the 
treatment of the slave depends in a great measure upon 
the character of his master or manager. How ineffectual 
to the slave are humane and judicious laws, if a barbarous 
master or overseer has it in his power to evade them in 
various ways. There can be no hesitation in saying, that 
the slave who lives under the immediate superintendence 
of a humane and considerate master, enjoys a life of as 
much comfort and contentment as the condition of a slave 
is capable of. This perhaps is the utmost that can be said ; 
for though the wants of the slaves may be supplied by the 
beneficent provision of such, a master, and he may con- 
sequently be said to be so far more desirably situated, than 
many of the poorer peasantry of Great Britain ; yet to 
argue, generally, that he is happier than they — an assertion 
which one frequently hears — is certainly saying too much. 
The situation of the two classes can admit of no other 
comparison than as to the physical wants of our nature. 
The being who toils by the compulsion of a master, and 
whose servitude, whether oppressive or otherwise, ceases 
only with his life, is, on the scale of moral and social hap- 
pines, far beneath him who labours voluntarily, and can 
choose whom he pleases as his master or employer. 

" With respect to interest prevailing over a disposition 
to oppress, while we allow all due weight to this motive 
in the prudent and judicious owner, it will not always 



234 NOTES. 

counteract the petty injustice to which the slave is subject 
from ignorant masters and unfeeling overseers. A slave 
may complain, and justly complain, that he is made to 
labour at unreasonable hours, and on days which the law 
allots to him, and that he is neither fed nor clothed as 
the law directs ; but who is to prove these transgressions ? 
The slave cannot ; for the law does not recognise the 
validity of his testimony against a whiteman. If the 
master were put upon his oath, equally nugatory would be 
this expedient ; for the man who wants rectitude and 
feeling to be just to his slaves, will hardly scruple to serve 
his ends by perjury. Again, if a slave is punished or beat 
with improper and illegal severity, or even cut and maimed 
— not to mention the numerous acts of petty tyranny to 
which he is subject under a cruel master — and there is no 
legal evidence to prove those enormities, the offender can- 
not be convicted by them. He may then go on with im- 
punity in this system of oppression as long as he can con- 
trive to keep without the reach of the laws. Extreme 
cases of this nature, it may be said, seldom occur : but 
such a supposition is no argument that the law should not 
provide effectually against them. Even murder may 
escape condign punishment, while this defect in the slave- 
laws is suffered to exist." 

Such are the opinions of one who resided in Jamaica, 
and made it his business to investigate the condition of 
the colony in every department. He professes, and I 
believe maintains, the greatest impartiality. Hence he 
candidly expresses his fears of immediate emancipation, 
but gives the best reasons in the world for that apprehen- 
sion — the self-interest of the whiteman, and the suffer- 
ings of the blackman. The author wrote in 1823. He 
thus concludes, after expressing the fears aforesaid : 
" But though such would be the awful consequences of a 



NOTES. 235 

too precipitate emancipation of the slaves, let no one draw 
from thence an argument in favour of the perpetuation of 
slavery. It is clearly repugnant to the immutable prin- 
ciples of reason and justice, as well as to the mild spirit 
of Christianity; and those who endeavour to justify or 
excuse it, by telling us that it has prevailed from the 
remotest times, and existed among all the great nations 
of antiquity — the Greeks, Romans, &c. and under the 
Jewish and Christian dispensations — merely inform us 
that a great moral evil was suffered to exist in those 
times, and among those nations. Bryan Edwards, one of 
the most able and zealous champions of the West Indies, 
speaking of Slavery abstractedly, says, * After all, I will 
not conceal that I am no friend to slavery in any shape, 
or under any modification.' If then a West-Indian, 
holding large properties in one of the islands, makes this 
candid avowal, what shall we think of those who gravely 
set up a defence of slavery, and would justify its indefinite 
continuance? Nothing surely can be more revolting 
than the thought that a state of degrading bondage (for 
such slavery at best must be considered) shall be handed 
down from generation to generation, — to beings yet un- 
born, on whom the morn of freedom shall never dawn!"* 

And now the mart of fellow-man. — p. 56. 

" Very affecting scenes often occurred of negro-sales 
during the existence of the slave-trade. Groups of slaves 
were seen with their arms entwined round each other's 
necks, waiting, with sad and anxious looks, the expected 
moment of separation. Perhaps they were sisters and 
friends — perhaps a mother and her children — perhaps a 
husband and wife. In vain was the endeavour to separate 

* See hu work on Jamaica, %c. chap. xiv. 



236 xotes. 

them; they clung closer together, they wept, they 
shrieked piteously, and, if forcibly torn asunder, the buyer 
had generally cause to regret his inhumanity; despair 
often seized on the miserable creatures, and they either 
sunk into an utter despondency, or put a period to their 
lives."* 

Tims fades, as fades the passing day, fyc. — p. 61. 

Cost trapassa al trapassar <Tun giorno 
Delia vita mortale, ilfiore e'l verde : 
Ne, perche faccia indietro April ritorno, 
Si rinfiora ella mai } ne si rinverde ! 

Tasso, Gems. Lib. xvi. 

Not violent assault, but toil, 

And patient mining heaped the spoil, Qc. — p. 63. 

According to the hypothesis which I am about to offer, 
the islands in both hemispheres have been formed, chiefly 
by the movements of the Ocean, through countless ages — 
these movements being the effect of the Earth's equatorial 
motion, but in a contrary direction, and with respect to 
the poles, viz., borne to, and reflected from, the tropic of 
Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn alternately. 

The Earth, as is well known, in her diurnal motion, 
leaves, as it were, the waters behind. From the western 
hemisphere, the waters flow in an easterly direction ; and 
westerly from the eastern : this is partly the result of 
the earth's rotatory motion effecting the Gulph-stream. 

But the waters in their general movement are influenced 
by the Sun also, in the Ecliptic, and there is an influence 
resulting from the inclination of the Earth's axis also, — 

* Ante chap. xv. 



NOTES. 237 

so that, beginning (for instance) from the "Western hemi- 
sphere, their motion is North Westerly, (the Northern de- 
termination being of the Sun, &c.) until the Sun has 
reached and left Cancer : and South Westerly (the Southern 
determination being of the Sun, &c.) until he has reached 
and left Capricorn. From the same cause the waters from 
the poles have a perpetual flow towards the Equator, 
which is the centre of the Sun's influence on the fluids — 
(atmosphere and water) — which invest the globe as a 
garment, loose, light, and flowing — that is, comparatively 
so. 

Now, if we look on the map, or consult any work on 
Geography, we find, 1st, both hemispheres stretching into 
points or capes, in a Southerly direction — in this respect 
the appearance of both hemispheres is strikingly similar. 
2nd. Besides these capes, both have islands to the East of 
them — the Western, to the North of the Equator — the 
Eastern, to the North and South : but, let it be observed, 
that the Western continent extends more Southerly, and 
thus supplies the deficiency of islands. Australia is but 
the remnant of the Southern continent of the Eastern 
hemisphere. 3rd. All these islands lie in a North 
westerly or South easterly direction, respecting their ex- 
tremities or capes — they are, with scarcely half-a-dozen 
exceptions, oblong— they diverge to capes or points, at 
both extremities. 

Admitting, then, the equatorial motion of the waters 
(as left behind by the Earth's motion) from East to West 
— all that remains to be accounted for, is, in fact, the 
northerly and southerly bias of the sun's attraction. 
This being supposed, what follows ? The waters, (accord- 
ing to the resolution of forces,) pursuing the diagonal, have 
flowed towards and upon the Southern and Eastern shores 
of Asia, until the Sun has arrived at Cancer, and some 



238 NOTES. 

time after, till the influence being changed in direction, 
they have flowed with the new impulse towards, and have 
dashed against, the Southern and Eastern shores of Ame- 
rica — one impulse from the South, northerly — the other 
from the North, southerly. 

This operation has been — from the beginning — constant 
and perpetual. The waters have operated upon the com- 
ponent substances of the globe — on granite or primitive 
rock — on transition or secondary stone — and on alluvial 
deposit. The first, immovable as the earth on its 
foundations, has withstood their mining ; but the transi- 
tion stone and alluvial deposit have been swept away to an 
extent, in the lapse of ages ; they have been slowly but 
effectually eaten away by the Ocean, which has left, as it 
were, the remnant of his meal — islands, capes, gulph- 
lines, bay-enclosures, and promontories. We have thus 
the islands of the North Pacific, or Polynesia ; and the 
devouring waters have continued in their northerly course, 
until become weak by the cessation of attraction in that 
direction, they have been arrested by the narrow neck of 
land at the north of the Red Sea, or the isthmus of Suez — 
and tumbling thence, by the southerly attraction towards 
the Capricorn, they have feasted on the middle continent 
of America, scattered their remnants on the Atlantic, and 
have formed the West Indian Islands. Their strength being 
once more exhausted, they have been arrested by the narrow 
neck of land called the isthmus of Darien. This hypothe- 
sis seems to be supported by the correspondence or simi- 
larity of the islands, (as before remarked,) in both hemi- 
spheres. We behold Sumatra in the Eastern, contiguous 
to that ridge of land which might be called Cape Malaya ; 
and we have the island of Cuba contiguous to that ridge 
which might be named Cape Florida, &c. &c. In fact, 
there is a general resemblance between the islands of both 



NOTES. 239 

hemispheres, in extent, appearance, and position. Simi- 
larity of form, &c. induces us to presuppose a simi- 
larity of cause — it is not in nature that we are to find 
similar effects independent of similar causes. The course 
of the Gulph-stream is but a reaction of this motion, from 
the shores of Africa and Europe, and again from the 
shores of America ; but this is only a partial movement, 
when compared to that of the whole Ocean itself. Again, 
the islands of Europe, according to the same hypothesis, 
are the result of the flow of waters from the pole — hence 
their figure, oblong still, great Britain particularly — the 
correspondence of the coasts of Britain and France in 
composition and vegetation &c, favours the supposition. 

But how account for the existence of volcanoes, and 
their effects, in several of the islands ? 1st. They may have 
existed on the respective part of the continent which those 
islands represent, and thus, they continue to act, or their 
former effects have remained. 2nd. We are unacquainted 
with the real causes of volcanoes, or rather, with their 
basis in nature. But, supposing this basis to exist in those 
islands, may , not the surrounding pressure of the waters 
be calculated to result volcanoes ? However, to say 
that the islands were produced by volcanoes seems tanta- 
mount to say, that the Andes were thrown up by the same 
agencies, for there volcanoes have existed, and do exist. 
Islands have been produced by volcanic agency — but what 
are such islands but portions of the continent (with a vol- 
canic basis) covered with water, and striving to get free 
once more, with the aid of the volcanic basis, vivified by 
superincumbent pressure ? 

In conclusion, I offer this hypothesis with due deference 
—if worthy of consideration, others better qualified will 
make it more intelligible. 



240 



Peace treasures rest for man, and Earth supplies , 
Untaxed, his barns, fyc. — p. 65. 



■" Sine militis usu 



Mollia securce peragebant otia gentes. 

Ipsa quoque immunis rastroque intacta, nee ullis 

Saucia vomeribus, per se dabat omnia tellus" 

Ovid. Met. I. 3. 

She moults no leaf, until its brotherhood 

Peep imminent, as babes from mother's arms, fyc. — p. 66. 

u Here, even in the midst of December, are seen trees 
with both blossoms and fruit at once, suspended from 
their branches — the rivalship of Flora and Pomona, so 
common in the torrid zone : 

" Another Flora here of bolder hues, 
And richer sweets, beyond our garden's pride, 
Plays o'er the fields, and showers, with sudden hand 
Exuberant spring." * 

Here reigns the Western Palm, Qc. — p. 78. 

It supplies the Indians with almost whatever they stand 
in need of ; as bread, water, wine, vinegar, brandy, milk, 
oil, honey, sugar, needles, clothes, thread, cups, spoons, 
basons, baskets, paper, masts of ships, sails, cordage, nails, 
covering for their houses, &c. — Ray. 

With suckling pearls, — adopted, — not her own. — p. 71- 

" Miraturque novas frondes, et non sua poma." 

Virg. Georg. 11/82. 

* Stewart. 



NOTES. 241 

In shape a skeleton, and oft a stain 

Of what seems streaking blood, she sees, fyc. — p. 72. 
I find that it is the Ribbon species of the sugar-cane 
which is alternately variegated with stripes of crimson and 
pale yellow, whence it takes its name. 

That hath its King.— p. 72. 

The Oriolus Christatus, or Crested Cassique. Cassique 
or Cazique, was the name of the Indian Kings when the 
Spaniards first took possession of the continent and islands. 

This bird is thus playfully described by Waterton : 
" The Cassique is larger than the Starling. He courts the 
society of man, but disdains to live by his labours. When 
Nature calls for support, he repairs to the neighbouring 
forest, and there partakes of the store of fruits and seeds 
which she has produced in abundance for her aerial tribes. 
When his repast is over, he returns to man, and pays the 
little tribute he owes him for his protection : he takes his 
station on a tree close to his house, and* there, for hours 
together, pours a succession of imitative notes. His own 
song is sweet, but very short. If a Toucan be yelping in the 
neighbourhood, he drops it, and imitates him. Then he 
will amuse his protector with the different cries of the 
woodpecker ; and when the sheep bleat, he will distinctly 
answer them. Then comes his own song again ; and if a 
passing dog or a Guinea-fowl interrupt him, he takes them 
off admirably ; and by his different gestures during the 
time, you would conclude that he enjoys the sport." — See 
Wanderings in S. A. 

And its bell. — p. 72. 

" The Campanero never fails to attract the attention of 
the passenger. At a distance of nearly three miles, you 



242 NOTES. 

may hear this snow-white bird tolling every four or fire 
minutes, like the distant convent-bell. In the midst 
of these extensive wilds, generally on the dried top of an 
aged Mora, almost out of gun-reach, you will see the Cam- 
panero," &c. — Watehton. 

Its living grave the tropic Scavenger ! — p. 72. 

" Naturalists are a good deal divided as to the faculty 
by which these birds are enabled to discover, in a most 
surprising manner, a dead or dying animal, at the distance 
of even many miles. In travelling over the immensely 
wide deserts of Africa, where there is not a blade of grass 
to tempt a living bird or animal, and no inducement, there- 
fore, for birds of prey to scour those vast wildernesses in 
search of game ; should a camel or other beast of burden 
drop under its load, in the train of a caravan, in less than 
half-an-hour there will be seen, high in the air, a number 
of the smallest specks, moving slowly round in circles, and 
gradually growing larger and larger, as they descend in 
spiral windings towards the earth : these are the vultures, 
but whence they come, or by what sign or call they are 
collected,at a height beyond the reach of the human eye,is 
still a mystery ; though we are much inclined to suspect 
that they derive their information from an inconceivable 
keenness of sight, rather than, as some suppose, from an ex- 
traordinary sense of smelling, which has been attributed 
to them. When within a few yards, the spiral motion is 
changed for a direct line ; then they alight on the 
body, and tearing it in pieces, feed upon it with greedi- 
ness." * 

The Vulture, like the Eagle, floats on its prey in the 

* Stanley. 



NOTES. 243 

ocean, but of a very different description. In the rivers of 
the East, says a traveller,* one is constantly shocked with 
the sight of a floating corpse, with a Vulture perched upon 
it, and expanding its wings to cause it to land, that it may 
devour its horrid meal in leisure. Of this fact I have 
made use in Canto II. p. 23. The Vulture is common in 
South America, Trinidad, Jamaica, &c. where its life is 
protected by the law, on account of its utility. 

Words they pronounce articulate and clear, 

A moan — a call — a question to the ear ! — p. 73. 

" Four species of the Goat-sucker articulate some words 
so distinctly, that they have received their names from the 
sentences they utter, and absolutely bewilder the stranger 
on his arrival in these parts. The most common one sits 
down by your door, and flies and alights three or four 
yards before you, as you walk along the road, crying, 
— ' Who-are-you, who-who-who-are-you ? ' Another bids 
you * Work-away — Work-work-work-away.' A third cries 
mournfully, ' Willy-come-go, Willy-willy-willy-come-go.' 
And high up in the country, a fourth tells you, ' Whip- 
poor-Will — whip-whip- whip-poor- Will.' 

" Ovid has told thee how the owl once boasted the 
human form, and lost it for a very small offence ; and were 
the poor poet alive now, he would inform thee that 'Whip- 
poor-will,' and ' Willy-come-go,' are the shades of those 
poor African and Indian slaves, who died worn out and 
brokenhearted. They wail, and cry, * Whip-poor-will,' 
' Willy-come-go, ' all night long ; and often when the 
moon shines, you see them sitting on the green turf, near 
the houses of those whose ancestors tore them from the 
bosom of their helpless families, which all probably 

* Transatl. Sketches— Ibid. 

B 2 



244 xotes 

perished through want and grief, after their support was 
gone." — Waterton. 

But most are silent ; for to them belong 

The blaze of Beauty, not the soul of Song. — p. 73. 

" But though Nature has not bestowed so melodious a 
pipe on the birds of this region, with the remarkable ex- 
ception mentioned,* as on the feathered inhabitants of 
more temperate climes, she has, as if to compensate for 
this deficiency, decked them out in the most gay and bril- 
liant colours : 



For Nature's hand 



That with a sportive vanity has deck'd 
The plumy nations, here her gayest hues 
Profusely pours. But if she bid them shine 
Array' d in all the beauteous beams of day, 
Yet, frugal still, she humbles them in song." f 



Set free Himself, " with healing in its wing" % 

The sea and land-breeze 'neath the burning Ring ! — p. 14* 

This phenomenon is thus explained in the periodical 
before quoted, viz. Chambers' Information for the People, 
Part VII. p. 407. 

" In most countries near the shores of the sea, but par- 
ticularly in tropical climates, there are periodical winds, 
called sea and land-breezes ; they occur in the following 
manner : — During the day, the wind blows for a certain 
number of hours from the sea to the land ; but when the 
evening arrives, it changes its direction, and blows as 

* Doubtless the, author means the bird which has been 
described, viz. the Crested Cazique, for he calls it " a species of 
the mock-bird." 

f Stewart. + Mai. iv. 2. 



NOTES. 245 

many hours from the land to the sea. In some countries 
the sea-breeze sets in about seven or eight in the morning, 
and is strongest at noon, but continues very sensible until 
three o'clock, when the surface of the sea will be observed 
to exhibit ripples of a deep blue colour. After this, at six 
in the evening, the land-breeze commences. The sea now 
assumes a greenish hue ; and the breeze continues until 
eight the next morning. The cause of this alternation 
may be readily explained. During the day, the air over 
the surface of the earth is more heated by the rays of the 
sun than that over the surface of the sea ; because the 
earth, from its greater density, comparative state of rest, 
and numerous elevations, reflects the sun's rays sooner, 
and with more power, than they are reflected from the 
sea, which, from its state of constant motion and transpa- 
rency, imbibes the warmth very intimately, though more 
slowly. Accordingly, when the sun, having risen above 
the horizon, has, by the reflection of its rays, thus im- 
parted a sufficient degree of warmth to rarify the body of 
air over the land, the air so rarified, ascends into the 
higher regions of the atmosphere ; while that over the sur- 
face of the sea, being scarcely at all rarified, rushes in to 
supply its place. Hence, a sea-breeze or current of air 
from the sea to the land at this time prevails ; but when 
the sun again begins to sink below the horizon, the body 
of air over the surface of the land becomes rapidly cold, 
and the earth itself, by radiation, parts very quickly with 
the warmth it absorbed. Then the land air, being below 
the temperature of the sea air, rushes in to supply its place, 
and thus during the night, a land-breeze, or a current of 
air from the land to the sea, is produced." 

Ague, Catarrh, sweWd limbs, foul leprosy. — p. 15. 
11 The most common diseases in Barbadoes," says Sir 



246 NOTES. 

Andrew Halliday, and we may add, all over the "West 
Indies more or less, " are chest-complaints and dysentery, 
with inflammation of the eyes, from the reflected glare of 
the sun, and the quantity of finely-pulverized chalk always 
floating in the atmosphere. There is a horrid and loath- 
some species of Elephantiasis, vulgarly known as the Bar- 
badoes-leg : it was formerly far more severe and common 
amongst the Negro and coloured population than it is now; 
still we cannot walk half-a-mile without seeing some cases 
of it, — some poor wretch trailing a limb larger than the 
body, and covered with excrescences and ulcers." 

From marshes where the venom'd viper sleeps, fyc. — p. lb. 

The same writer says : " I have perfectly satisfied myself 
that the purely remittent and intermittent fevers in the 
West Indies are, as in Europe, the genuine offspring of a 
subtle something, which the medical writers have called 
the ' Marsh-poison,' and are not contagious. But that in 
any country, and more especially within the tropics, if the 
wards of an hospital, the rooms of a barrack, or even the 
quarters of a garrison, become crowded with cases of these 
fevers another disease is speedily generated, and is so 
highly contagious, that it will carry destruction throughout 
a whole colony ; hence the propriety of inculcating separa- 
tion and dispersion, whenever agues or remittent fevers 
become prevalent or epidemic amongst a body of troops, 
or in a crowded community." 
Speaking of Trinidad the same author observes : 
B The mountain of Tamana, which rises nearly in its 
centre, to a great height, has scarcely ever been visited by 
man. No human footsteps, so far as I could learn, has ever 
reached its summit ; for, if ever it was attempted, no one 
has returned to tell his discoveries : yet this mountain is 



NOTES. 247 

only a few miles from the sea-coast. It might be possible 
for a man, by care and watchfulness, to escape the Boa and 
the Tiger-cat, and every other living monster, whether of 
the land or the water ; but he cannot guard against the 
deadly poison of the marsh, or the noisome atmosphere 
which is generated by the decaying, and protected by the 
rank, living vegetable matter, with which the half-formed 
land is literally overloaded. So deadly is that atmo- 
sphere, that in a few hours it will destroy life, even at 
noon-day, whilst during the night two or three inhalations 
will destroy the strongest and most healthy negro." " It is 
a remarkable fact in the history of these marsh poisons, 
that they creep up to the tops of the highest mountains 
with great rapidity, where their virulence or noxious 
influences upon the human constitution are increased, or, 
as it may be considered, concentrated. " 

Thy gold, in life deem' 'd firmest, first in flighty <§•<?. — p. ^6, 

Suggested by the "Drei Freunde," of Herder. Drei 
Freunde hat der Mensch in dieser Welt ; wie betragen sie 
in der Stunde des Todes, wenn ihn Gott vor Gericht 
fodert? Das Geld, sein bester Freund, verlasset ihn 
zuerst und gehet nicht mit ihn. Sein Verwandten und 
Freunde begleiten ihn bis zur Thur des Grabes und Kehren 
wieder in ihre Hauser. Der dritte, den er im Leben oft am 
meisten vergast,* sind seine wolth'dtigen Werke Sie allein 
begleiten ihn bis zum Throne des Richters sie gehen 
voran, sprechen fiir ihn und finden Barmherzigkeit und 
Gnade." 

And Tobias incense dissipate the spell, S[C — p. 78. 

Asmodeus is considered an impersonation of " The Pride 

* It will be observed that I have given another turn to that 
thought, in the text. 



248 jjotes. 

of Life and Sensuality." He haunted Sarah, the daughter 
of Raguel and Anna, who repulsed him, not affecthig 
gaudy apparel, &c. Sarah being a fortune, was sought 
after by those over whom this demon of showy dress had 
power, that is, fortune-hunters. They were successively 
destroyed on the night of marriage : but Tobit was pro- 
vided with a certain incense, [virtuous intentions and good 
deeds,] which protected him on the same occasion.* 

Their founts, above where endless rivers flow. — p. 63. 
'Avut iroTafiwv U(oa*v x^goval nayai — Eurip. Med. 412. 



■or Xantippe, still for life. — p. 79* 



11 The first and most important female quality, is sweet- 
ness of temper. Heaven did not give to the female sex 
insinuation and persuasion in order to be surly: it did 
not make them weak in order to be imperious : it did not 
give them a sweet voice in order to be employed in 
scolding : it did not provide them with delicate features 
in order, to be disfigured with anger. A wife frequently 
has cause to lament her condition, but never to utter 
bitter complaints. A husband too indulging, is apt to 
make an imperious wife ; but, unless he be a monster, 

* See Calmet, in voce Ash ; and the Book of Tobias, for the 
interesting narrative, which, however little claim it may be 
supposed to have to be numbered in the canon of the Scriptures, 
conveys a most wholesome moral ; and seems to have been a 
favourite topic with the ancient Fathers of the Church. It 
may be also observed by the way, that the book of Tobias was 
considered canonical by the third Council of Carthage, A.D. 
397. Dean Prideaux, however, treats it with as little ceremony 
as Luther dismissed the Epistle of St. James. 



NOTES. 



249 



sweetness of temper in his wife will restore him to good 
humour, and sooner or later triumph over him." 

The father must be sound — the mother too — 

This, nature needs, to prove her wisdom true. — p. 81 . 

In effect, why should this condition be deemed essential 
in the procreation of the horse, the sheep, and the dog, 
and be totally disregarded in that of man ? Why must it 
be true, that we are most successful breeders of cattle, and 
such notoriously bad breeders of men and women ? Is 
the subject beneath our notice, or is it above our compre- 
hension ? Not the latter, certainly, for who has tried it ? 
but the fact is too evident, that any and every motive in- 
fluences marriage but the right one. Still, whoever has 
eyes to see, and a mind to think, will observe the lament- 
able consequences of this degradation of the destiny of 
man and woman. The child is a physical, intellectual, 
and moral compound of its parents, as these are of their 
progenitors, and so on through past generations. How 
much of this compound is of either parent, is frequently 
evident to the close observer of nature ; and it has been 
remarked, that one may commonly know the vices of the 
parents by the peculiarities of the child. 

" Let any intelligent and candid father and mother, at 
the time they are contemplating the punishment of a 
childjlook back to their own conduct at the same period and 
under similar circumstances, and they will be astonished 
to trace a resemblance so minute and circumstantial. 
They may hesitate to acknowledge this, but that only 
proves their dispositions to be worse than they imagine ; 
and the consequence of this want of honourable candour 
will be displayed in injustice to the child. Strongly im- 
pressed with this identity of organization and conduct in 



250 NOTES. 

parents and progeny, a friend of mine very philosophically 
terms his children his ' future states.' Can anything, then, 
be more ignorant and savage than parents punishing the 
errors they have not only themselves committed, but have 
bequeathed to their children ; for, giving their organiza- 
tion, their actions were inevitable — similar causes have 
similar effects."* No doubt habitual intercourse has 
much to do with those peculiarities — no doubt it may be 
true that " we give our children bread with one hand, and 
poison with the other ;" that * we teach them virtue by 
theory, and vice by practice:" that we exhibit to their 
ever-observing eyes all our petty failings — our propensities 
to detract and calumniate — giving vent to our most 
rancorous indignation against those persons (in their ab- 
sence) to whom we cringe and offer compliments when 
they stand before us — that we do all these things, and 
still are most punctilious in the external forms of religion, 
as if thereby to satisfy them and ourselves that we are 
Christians! We must grant the influence of all these 
causes, in unravelling the peculiarities of the child. But, 
are they not also born with natural predispositions ? Shall 
the fruit of the tree be peculiar to the natural or artificial 
state of the tree, and the child be totally independent of 
the same state of the parents ? Apply the comparison to 
every animal that man has learnt to rear with the most 
unerring precision, as to spirit, strength, and even colour : 
shall the child of man alone be the result of fate, chance, 
or ill-luck, or any other representative for the perverse de- 
signing of fathers and mothers ? "What is the consequence 
of this infatuation ? 1st. The fruit is of the tree, viz., here- 
ditary diseases are transmitted with redoubled energy; 

* See Walker's work on "Woman, as to Mind, Morals," &c. 
p. 360. 



NOTES. 251 

not as diseases, but as predispositions of the system, which 
■will not fail to exhibit them in due time. This is a por- 
tentous chapter of human misery ! Some of these predis- 
positions are from the father, others from the mother. 
Some are internal, others external : would that they were 
all so ! to serve as signs to humanity, when the designing 
seek to conceal them. To what shall we compare this 
fiendish crime? 2nd. The fruit is of the tree, viz., defici- 
ency of mind, deficiency of moral sentiment. Common 
opinion verifies this fact, — ct she is like her father," "he 
is like his mother.'' Fearful of this result, many apply a 
species of mechanical means to hinder the resemblance, 
by sequestration from the contaminating influence of those 
whose example might do as much as the natural tendency 
in the parent, to transmit the predisposition. And 
with what success? The machines are moved by the 
parents as long as they are under control, but no longer. 
It is an effort to be artificial — it is easy to be natural — it 
is difficult to go against the stream — but easy to sail with 
its current. 

We are bound to take every means in our power to 
give health, strength, mind, and a moral feeling to our 
children. It follows, then, that he who exposes himself 
to fail in either of those transmissions by marrying disease, 
imbecility, and vice, commits a flagrant crime against his 
offspring, consequently against society, and can he be 
guiltless in the sight of God ? What are these means ? 
Precisely the same as those which we take with the lower 
animals. 

" The principle of improving the breed of animals by 
crossing is now fully appreciated. This principle applies 
to man as well as to inferior animals ; and carried still 
further, it explains the reason of the horror which all men, 
except princes, feel at the intermarriage of near relations." * 

* Walker, 



252 NOTES. 

Shall we be asked, as was observed relatively to Mr. 
Walker's work on the subject we are discussing, " But is 
there no such thing as love in this world ? " that is to say, 
will not love be strong enough to counteract the determi- 
nation to be wary in selecting the mother of our children ? 
The answer is obvious. If by love is meant animal appe- 
tence, it will be : but if love is a rational sentiment, a 
moral sentiment, far from counteracting, it will become 
the most efficient means of ensuring the happiest results, 
to which, as men and women, we are bound to aspire. 
But how change the opinions of society on this subject ? 
How can we induce men and women to believe that money 
ought not to be the first subject of their first inquiry 
when they are to marry, or of parents when they " con- 
tract" for the husbands or wives of their children ? It 
were futile in the extreme. Such a reformation could not be 
effected even by a Luther ! But cannot individuals cease 
to cry out " How ? " and begin themselves ? If one man 
produces three sound children, that is, sound in body, mo- 
rals, and mind, these children will, in all probability, pro- 
duce each as many more, and so on, we shall soon have an 
effectual reformation. It were easy to trace the effects of such 
a state of things, if carried out with individual determination. 
Church, Law, State, Medicine, every department would 
be more or less purified according to present necessity, &c. 
&c. &c. We shall then select professions for our children 
according to their physical, intellectual, and moral capa- 
cities, not according to the dictates of avarice or ambi- 
tion. We shall then educate them according to our 
means, not according to the standard that such a one, or 
such a one, may be supposed to represent ; and above all, 
we will order things so as to give them a certain means (as 
far as human means may go,) of obtaining a livelihood 
when we are no more. It is said, that, in some parts of 



NOTES. 253 

Germany, even princes were taught a trade, as a precau- 
caution against the casualties of fortune. It was a wise 
ordinance, worthy to be imitated in every country, for the 
sake of health, mind, and morality ; for wealth and idle- 
ness are the parents of woes innumerable to the indivi- 
dual, and to society. 

"Genius," observes Mr. Walker, "which is whetted 
by adversity, soon becomes blunt, in the bosom of ease ; 
and mediocrity of talent, when so circumstanced, becomes 
absolute imbecility. Men, entitled by the mere accident 
of birth to a monopoly of honours and indulgences, need 
make no effort to obtain them. Such trouble is unneces- 
sary : and not one in ten thousand bestows it. Intellectual 
power, therefore, is gradually lost, and the man is at last 
utterly debased. 

All history accordingly shows, that those princes, 
nobles, &c. who have gained the admiration of mankind, 
have almost always either been the first of their race who 
reached that rank of society, or have suffered from an ad- 
verse fortune, which elevated rank cannot always pre- 
vent ; and that as uniformly the children of these persons 
who were born to honour, affluence, and indulgence, have 
been far their inferiors in intellectual attainment. As in 
ancient times, we know that some of the greatest men in 
Greece were of the obscurest origin, and that foreign 
female slaves gave birth to many of them. A Carian was 
the mother of Themistocles ; a Scythian was that of 
Demosthenes ; and a Thracian gave birth to Iphicrates 
and Timotheus ! On the other hand, it is certain that 
the children of Socrates and Pericles were destined to stu- 
pidity and obscurity ! " 

The conclusion to which the preceding remarks are in- 
tended to lead, is, that parents transmit to their children 
the seeds of virtue or vice, of disease or health, of mental 



254 NOTES. 

vigour or imbecility ; * and therefore, that the parents are 
themselves the greatest blessing or the greatest curse to 
their children, who, in the one instance are endowed with 
the best of fortunes, without which no other is available ; 
and in the other, are blasted with the worst of maledic- 
tions, to which the largest fortune brings no compensation. 
Parents feel these things — they lament them with the 
burning tears of solitude; every feeling heart sympa- 
thizes with them. But let them become wiser by experi- 
ence. Let them beware of the future, whilst they remem- 
ber the past and the present. Let them bring all the 
weight of their authority to stay the curse of nature whilst 
it is in their power, and not produce by their influence an 
accumulation of misery on mankind, on generations after 
generations, aye, to the " third and fourth." Positive dis- 
ease will infallibly produce a positive tendency or aptitude 
to disease in the offspring. Nay, even a great disparity 
of years in a couple determines a particular class of dis- 
eases, producing bodies without the full complement of 
manhood or womanhood — utterly unfit to reproduce 
men or women — mere " expletives in creation." There 
is one reflection, which few will make without " fear and 
trembling. 7 ' Nature requires that we be uniformly obe- 
dient to her laws. The laws of nature are linked with 
those which we distinguish as of God. Both must be 
obeyed to insure happiness to ourselves ; health, virtue, 
and mind to our children. It is from non-uniformity in 
this obedience, the result of an evil hour, that healthy, good, 
and wise parents, have given birth to diseased, perverse, 
and imbecile children. But how can this be otherwise, 
when one is absolutely deficient ? Health and virtue are 
absolute essentials in the parents — in both : the former 

* See page 81. 



NOTES. 255 

maybe restricted to functional integrity, freedom from 
hereditary taint of disease, malformations, and total de- 
ficiencies. The latter is absolute; no gradation can be 
admitted in virtue. But mind is essential to virtue, which 
is the result of conviction, and how attain to this convic- 
tion without mind ? Virtue is the triumph of mind over 
the animal cravings of our system, and whence are the 
arms by which, and with which we triumph, if not from 
this mind which God himself has surrounded, as it were, 
by a castle of defence, where he makes known his com- 
mands, which he enlightens with his presence. Has the 
idiot virtue ? Has he mind ? "We know not what con- 
nexion there exists between the soul and the brain of 
man, but we know that the deficiency of mind in the 
Sorn-idiot is attended either with a positive deficiency of 
the volume of the brain, or evident organic disease, or in 
the insane of every degree, we can investigate evident 
causes, which leave no doubt that the various phenomena 
of hallucination proceed from organic derangement of the 
brain in part, or as a whole, by hereditary predisposition, 
individual imprudence, or accident. Brain is then essen- 
tial to the operation of mind, which is the result of the soul 
in action through its medium. This medium is material, as 
the hand, the feet, the eyes, the ears, whose uses are inti- 
mately connected with the application of other functional 
activities. If then this brain is material, its rudiments 
are in the germ as certainly as those of the hands, the feet, 
the ears, the eyes ; and if so, dependent, in the first in- 
stance, on the source whence their formation, for their 
aptitude to expand into the fulness of organic structure, 
which capacitates the individual to be (I use the term in 
its most extended sense) a Christian. But here I must 
not be misunderstood. Whilst contending for unlimited 
soundness of the animal functions and the moral medium, 



256 NOTES. 

it is not to be inferred that an equally capacitated medium 
of mind is essentially necessary. By no means. Justice, 
aye mere justice, demands that we should give our children 
a healthy frame — higher motives still combine with justice 
in forbidding us to entail upon them propensities to vice : 
but as the sum of mind necessary for the understanding of 
every Christian duty is that which is possessed by every 
individual who is not insane — the lowest standard of mind 
may be taken. We must endeavour to transmit the 
soundest organic health, the soundest moral medium, and 
also mental aptitude, but the former are to be ensured, the 
latter not neglected. We must ensure, (as far as we are 
concerned,) the happiness of health, the happiness of virtue 
here and hereafter — moderate mental capacity is all that 
is required with those essentials. 

Nature, then, expects that we should be uniformly 
virtuous ourselves, or she inflicts the penalty : * on our- 
selves if we are single ; but if we are likely to be fathers 
or mothers, our criminality being doubled, she transmits 
the penalty, to be transmitted in succession, and thus every 
succeeding generation is worse than the former, f This is, 
indeed, a dreadful contemplation ! To think that when we 
shall stand and pledge ourselves to take a woman " for 
better and for worse," we are swearing to the Almighty to 
do our best to vitiate the creature, which he has made to 
his own image and likeness — virtually, in a word, to do 
our best to accumulate the misery of mankind ! But 
meseems I hear it objected, " Would you have us reject a 
woman or a man, because he or she has such an hereditary 
taint — such a disease," &c. &c. &c. The reply is at hand. 
Ask the dog-fancier, the sheep-breeder, the horse-breeder — 



See page 85. f See page 82, last paragraph. 



NOTES. 257 

and if you think it less important to have a good race of 
men than of dogs, sheep, and horses, disregard his ex- 
ample. 

It will be evident that Mr. Walker's work on Marriage 
and Intermarriage, excellent as far as it goes, leaves much 
to be said, or rather to be investigated. The law of 
hereditary transmission is a subject which is, by its very 
nature, connected with that of Anatomy, Physiology, and 
Nosology. It is allied to Education ; and to Legislation 
it must be indebted for a peremptory obedience, when 
Society shall be so constituted as to admit its certainty. 
But shall Legislation be ever permitted to forbid indivi- 
duals from marrying, or becoming fathers or mothers, 
when manifestly labouring under any of the forementioned 
disabilities ? This question can be answered by another. 
Can legislation forbid certain individuals from practising 
the law, or medicine, &c. &c, when labouring under the 
disqualification of having no credentials ? Indeed, there 
seems to be a remarkable inconsistency in the thing : no 
man can practise (however qualified otherwise) without 
credentials ; but any one may marry (however disqualified 
otherwise) with the publications of banns, or a license I 
But I forget — the legislature permits quacks to drug the 
public, only the nostrum must be licensed or stamped ! 
doubtless marrying quacks (of both sexes) should be 
licensed : they will stamp their children with a vengeance ; * 

* It can, indeed, be only passion, venality, or pride, that can 
prevent man from doing for his own offspring, that which 
natural and universal laws permit him to do for the progeny of 
every domesticated animal. The only reply that, under these 
circumstances of actual and daily demonstration, he can make 
to the invitation of nature and of science is, that he prefers a 
blind passion to an enlightened one, — brutal indulgence, suc- 
ceeded by life-long disgust, to exquisite enjoyment, and perma- 



258 NOTES. 

Damnosa quid non imminuit dies ? 

JEtas parentum, pejor avis, tulit 

Nos nequiores, mox daturos 

Progeniem vitiosiorem ! — Hor. Carm. Lib. III. 6. 



Then see a Jerome raging ''gainst himself. — p. 82. 

He describes his condition thus : " O quoties ego ipse, 
in eremo constitutus, et in ilia vasta solitudine, quae, 
exusta solis ardoribus, horridum Monachis praebet habi- 
taculum, putabam me Romanis interesse deliciis. Sedebam 
solus, quia amaritudine repletus eram. Horrebant sacco 
membro deformia, et squalida cutis sitim iEthiopicae 
carnis obdurat. 

"Quotidie lacrymae, quotidie gemitus ! et si quando 
repugnantem somnus imminens oppressisset, nuda humo 
ossa vix haerentia collidebam. De cibis vero et potu 

taceo . Ille igitur ego qui, ob Gehennae metum, tali me 

carcere ipse damnaveram, scorpionum tantum socius et 
ferarum, saepe choris intereram puellarum ! Pallebant 
ora jejuniis, et mens desideriis aestuabat in frigido 
corpore, et ante hominem suum jam came praemortua, 
sola libidinum incendia bulliebant." 



nent happiness, — or money, a mere means of pleasure, at the 
cost of domestic misery — perhaps of conjugal, or filial insanity, 
to actual pleasure to himself and all around him, as well as the 
progress of children in intellectual improvement and honour- 
able arts — the sole means of abiding fortune or rank, from 
which he may look up to those above, who despise and spit upon 
him, because he would vainly overtake them in their idiot 
scramble for a bubble, and down on those below, who therefore 
naturally hate him for his insolent assumption." — Walker on 
Intermarriage. 



NOTES. 259 

Or as a softly flow trig spring that stills, fyc. — p. 86. 
Suggested by these verses of Rainier : 
" Auf einen Feldbrunnen." 

" Immer rinnet diese Quelle, 
Niemals plaudert ihre Welle. 
Romm, Wandrer, hier zu ruhn ! 
Komm, lern' an dieser Quelle, 
Stillschweigend Gutes thun." 

Seek not gratitude, but seek a friend. — p. 86. 

Suggested by this sentence of Solis : " Y partia con sus 
comparieros cuanto adquiria, con tal generosidad, que 
sabia ganar amigos sin buscar agradecidos." " Whatever 
he gained he shared among his companions with such 
generosity, that he knew how to gain friends without 
seeking for grateful dependents." The above is one of the 
items which that author has enumerated in his splendid 
character of Cortez, when about to embark for the con- 
quest of Mexico. It was the intention of Solis to portray 
a perfect hero in Cortez, and he very consistently concludes 
his work at the conquest of Mexico. Other writers have 
delineated the exterminator. 

If man' 's ingrate, Humanity is not, fyc. — p. 86. 

It is related that Aristotle, the great philosopher of the 
Heathens, once gave a small sum of money to a beggar. 
A bystander observed, that the object of his charity was 
a worthless fellow, who had brought his afflictions upon 
himself by his extravagance. " What of that ? " replied 
the philosopher, " what I gave was given to humanity, not- 

f a 



260 NOTES. 

to man." This is likewise a rebuke to those, who in 
benefiting the unfortunate, seem to claim a right to treat 
them with indelicate slights or open contempt, as occasion 
may offer : but surely, if these " charitable" Samaritans 
had never stopped and soothed the miserable with their 
balm, the latter might have died, but they could not in 
that case have been more wretched than they are doomed 
to be, under the perpetual influence of the " proud man's 
contumely ! " 

How felt the slave that knew her fate ? — p. 91. 

I am about to quote a passage from the Narrative or 
Journal of Messrs. R. and J. Lander, the African Travel- 
lers. It is painful to observe the dark contrast between 
the character of these gentlemen and that of the unfortu- 
nate Mungo Park. In all their observations on the natives 
whom they visit, you would fancy that the Brothers were 
quizzing the affectation and display of the French or the 
English in their coteries. It is to be regretted that, consti- 
tuted as they were, they had not confined themselves to 
the simple statement of facts, without the erroneous com- 
mentaries with which they have obscured their original. 
That this remark is not unjust, will perhaps be shewn by 
the following incident, as narrated by these witnesses of 
afiiiction. The cruel alternation of burlesque and real 
sorrow, which are blended together by a perpetual attempt 
in these writers to be merry at the expense of their 
humanity,* will, I doubt not, in spite of themselves, 
awaken a sympathy in those who have hearts to feel, as 

* " The most ludicrous or depreciating point being selected, 
and presented to the mind by some tart remark or ridiculous 
image." 



NOTES. 261 

well as minds to reflect. Here is the tragi-comedy of 
Mr. Lander. 

" Among the Damuggo slaves is a middle-aged, short, 
fat woman, having a broad, mournful kind of counte- 
nance ; in fact, there were two of them, so very much 
alike in all respects, that they might be taken for sisters. 
As she sat with the goats, whose society, by the by, was 
extremely disagreeable to her, inasmuch as they com- 
mitted various misdemeanours, to her great annoyance, 
she fetched one of the deepest and most dismal sighs that 
I ever heard. This attracted my attention, for she was 
seated so near me, that from the motion of the canoe, I 
was not unfrequently jostled against her naked person, 
which was by no means agreeable, for she was a dirty 
woman. She had been slowly masticating, with apparent 
disrelish, part of a boiled yam, which appeared to be cold 
and dry, and which was now laid aside. She was in deep 
meditation ; tear-drops were in her eyes, ready to fall, as 
she gazed earnestly at a spot of land on the eastern bank, 
which was fast receding from her view. Her closed lips, 
slightly upturned and with quivering emotion, the usual pre- 
lude to more violent grief, gave an expression of sadness and 
silent sorrow to her countenance, which language can but 
ill express. Nothing could be more touching than this 
tranquil face of woe. Loud bursts of lamentation, and 
other vehement expressions of passion, would not be half 
so eloquent. I imagined that the poor creature was be- 
wailing her hard fate in the ill-usage which she had re- 
ceived from her guardians, one of whom had not long 
before applied a paddle to her head and shoulders ; or she 
might, I thought, be in want of water, which was beyond 
her reach ; but to satisfy my doubts, I addressed her, and 
demanded the cause of her emotion. On this she turned 
her head round, and bestowing a violent thump on the 



262 NOTES. 

nose of a goat, which had discovered her broken yam, and 
was nibbling it fast away, she replied, pointing with her 
finger to the spot on which she had been so anxiously 
gazing, ( There I was born J* The chord was touched ; she 
had striven to repress her feelings before, but she could 
no longer command them ; she became more agitated, and 
wept bitterly as she faltered out, ' That is my country ! ' I 
was softened and moved at the woman's distress, and 
should doubtless have felt still stronger compassion, if I 
had not observed her, in the midst of her tears, inflicting 
the most vigorous chastisement on her brute companions, 
in the most unmerciful manner. The kids and goats had, 
in their playfulness, been gamboling about her feet and 
legs, and bespattered them with a little dirty water from the 
bottom of thecanoe; and I thought to myself, that if a female 
could behave with cruelty to a companion, being herself in 
distress, that little pity or gentleness could dwell in her 
bosom. However, be this as it may, she was greatly 
afflicted," &c. How differently would Mungo Park have 
narrated this affecting incident ! Would he have stopped 
to inquire the amount of pity that was to be found in the 
breast which was a prey to such emotions ? A man of 
feeling would have seen nothing but the affliction of the 
poor slave, or would have attributed her irritability to the 
intenseness of her grief. On whom has not violent grief 
this effect ? What would the moralist have remarked on 
the following incident in the life of Byron by Gait. 
Speaking of the burial of the Poet's mother, he concludes 
thus : " Having declined to follow the remains himself, he 
stood looking from the hall-door at the procession, till the 
whole had moved away ; and then, turning to one of the 
servants, the only person left, he desired him to fetch the 
sparring-gloves, and proceeded with him to his usual exer- 
cise. But the scene was impressive, and spoke eloquently 



NOTES. 263 

of a grieved heart. He sparred in silence all the time, 
and the servant thought that he hit harder than was his 
habit ; at last he suddenly flung away the gloves, and re- 
tired to his own room." 



Oh ! give us to the wild again, fyc. — p. 89. 

" But of all countries in the world, their own appears 
to them as the best, and their own people as the happiest ; 
and they pity the fate of other nations, who have been 
placed by Providence in less fertile and less fortunate dis- 
tricts." * 



Still, still by Nature's laws controlVd, 
Accordant with our Father's creed. — p. 90. 

" Some of the religious opinions of the negroes, though 
blended with the weakest credulity and superstition, are 
not unworthy attention. I have conversed with all ranks 
and conditions upon the subject of their faith, and can 
pronounce, without the smallest shadow of doubt, that the 
belief of one God, and of a future state of reward and 
punishment, is entire and universal among them. It is 
remarkable, however, that except on the appearance of a 
new moon, as before related, the pagan natives do not 
think it necessary to offer up prayers and supplications to 
the Almighty. They represent the Deity, indeed, as the 
Creator and Preserver of all things : but in general they 
consider him as a Being so remote, and of so exalted a 
nature, that it is idle to imagine the feeble supplications 
of wretched mortals can reverse the decrees, and change the 
purposes of unerring wisdom. If they are asked, for what 

* Park. 



204 NOTES. 

reason then do they offer up a prayer on the appearance 
of the new moon, the answer is, that custom has made it 
necessary ; they do it because their fathers did it before 
them."* 



Self-styled the fbiends of men distressed, 
Who otherwise in death would bleed, — p. 91. 

I have heard it alleged that the Africans sell each other, 
and that, if the prisoners of war were not sold, they would 
be put to death, or kept to live in bondage. This of course 
justifies their being carried into a foreign country, and 
used as beasts of burthen ! 

Incidit in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdim 

is a very trite saying ; but with regard to the Africans in 
this respect, it should be translated, out of Purgatory into 
"the lower still in the lowest deep." 

"The most atrocious slave-dealers are the Portuguese 
and Spaniards. One vessel, in 1818, took on board 1100, 
500 of whom perished in the short passage to Brazil, and 
other 300 in landing. Driven from the Western coast by 
the British cruizers, the dealers have removed to the 
eastern, and the isle of Zanguebar has become their 
depot. A Spanish schooner of 90 tons was lately inter- 
cepted, which had 250 slaves on board, wedged together 
between decks, just as monsters pack lobsters, with an 
allowance of a pint of water per day. Such being the 
treatment of blacks by the Christians, when they obtained 
the ascendancy in Hayti in 1791, in two months 2000 
whites were massacred, and 180 sugar plantations and 

* See Park's Travels, c. xx. and xxi. &c. A cheap edition is 
published by Chambers, called the • People's Edition.' 



NOTES. 265 

900 coffee, cotton, and indigo, &c. destroyed." — Sir R. 
Phillips. 

Ye darkened on our fated coast, Qc. — p. 90 — 91. 

" Within two centuries after the suppression of Slavery 
in Europe, the Portuguese, in imitation of those piracies 
which existed in the uncivilized ages of the world, made 
their descents on Africa; and committing depredations on 
the coast, first carried the wretched inhabitants into 
Slavery. This practice, thus inconsiderable at its com- 
mencement, became general ; and our own ancestors, to- 
gether with the Spaniards, French, and most of the 
maritime powers of Europe, soon followed the piratical 
example : and thus did the Europeans, to their eternal 
infamy, revive a custom which their own ancestors had so 
lately exploded,* from a consciousness of its impiety. The 
unfortunate Africans fled from the coast, and sought, in 
the interior part of the country, a retreat from the perse- 
cution of their invaders : but the Europeans still pursued 
them ; they entered their rivers, sailed up into the heart 
of the country, surprised the Africans in their recesses, and 
carried them into Slavery. 

" The next step which the Europeans found it necessary 
to take, was that of settling in the country, of securing 
themselves by fortified posts ; of changing their system of 
force into that of pretended liberality ; and of opening, by 
every species of bribery and corruption, a communication 
with the natives. Accordingly they erected their forts 
and factories ; landed their merchandize, and endeavour- 
ed, by a peaceable deportment, by presents, and by every 
appearance of munificence, to allure the attachment and 
confidence of the Africans. 

* Seepage 19, Canto I., and Notes to the same. 



266 NOTES. 

" The Portuguese erected their first fort at D'Elmina, 
in the year 1481, about forty years after Alonzo Gonzales 
had pointed out to his countrymen the Southern Africans, 
as articles of commerce. The scheme succeeded : an in- 
tercourse took place between the Europeans and Africans, 
attended with a confidence highly favourable to the views 
of ambition and avarice. In order to render this inter- 
course permanent as well as lucrative, the Europeans hav- 
ing discovered the chiefs of the African tribes, paid their 
court to these ; and at length a treaty of peace and com- 
merce was concluded ; in which it was agreed, that the 
kings, on their part, should, from this period, sentence pri- 
soners of war and convicts to European servitude ; and that 
the Europeans should supply them, in return, with the 
luxuries of the North. This agreement immediately took 
place, and laid the foundation of that horrible commerce, 
which is not yet abolished. 

" As if this trade were not in itself sufficiently criminal, 
its abettors added to it hypocrisy — the ostensible reason 
for introducing the Africans, in particular, as labourers into 
the newly discovered parts of the Western world, and 
placing them under European masters, being the duty of 
converting the heathen ! A system of severity sprung up, as 
it related to their treatment, which became by degrees 
still more cruel and degrading ; so that when in aftertimes 
the situation of master and slave came to be viewed as it 
existed in practice between the two, the masters seemed 
to have attained the rank of monarchs, and the slaves to 
have gone down to the condition of brutes. Hence, very 
early after the commencement of the Slave-trade, the 
objects of it began to be considered an inferior species, and 
even their very colour a mark of it.* * The punishments 

* " The white labourers," says Halliday, " were soon found 



NOTES. 267 

for crimes of slaves,' says Sloane (1707), are usually, for 
rebellions, burning them, by nailing them down on the 
ground with crooked sticks on every limb, and then 
applying the fire by degrees from the feet and hands, 
burning them gradually up to the head, whereby their 
pains are extravagant. For crimes of a lesser nature, 
gelding, or chopping off half of the foot with an axe. These 
punishments are suffered by them with great constancy.' 
The author proceeds as coolly to describe ' usual ' whipping 
and other punishments, and concludes thus : ' After they 
are whipped till they are raw, some put on their skins 
pepper and salt, to make them smart ; at other times their 
masters will drop melted wax on their skins, and use 
several exquisite torments.' " &c. — See Encycl. Lond. in 
voce, ' Slave.' 

Each, one by one, is torn away 

Till all are gone I and She must stay ! — p. 93. 

The practice alluded to in this section of the Poem, 
although common in the West Indies during the times 
of Slavery, assumes an aspect of ten-fold horror in America. 

" On reaching the destined market, the slaves are kept 
in chains, and sometimes in close confinement, until the 
day of sale. During the interval, they are exposed to the 

unequal to the fatigues of agriculture in a hot climate, and it 
therefore became necessary to procure Africans. These, at their 
first importation, were actually considered an equivocal race 
between man and monkey, &c. " The reader may smile at this 
assertion ; but the subject was seriously discussed, both at home 
and in the colonies, and it was decided at one time, that they 
were unworthy of receiving baptism, and ought not to be allowed 
to enter where the word of God was preached. In confirmation 
of this, I have only to refer to the early history of Barbadoes, 
and Godwin's Slave's Advocate." 



268 NOTES. 

inspection of any who may wish to make purchases. Per- 
sons are urgently invited to call and make their own 
selections. Due time having been granted for these ex- 
aminations, which are conducted with a minuteness, as 
disgraceful to the examiner, as it is humiliating to the sub- 
ject, and the time and terms of sale having been made as 
public as newspaper advertisements and handbills could 
make them, the whole gang are knocked off one by one to 
the bidder. These human auctions furnish scenes which 
are beyond description — a fit winding up of the horrible 
process which we have just traced, step by step, to its tra- 
gical close. Here all the remaining ties of kindred, which 
survived the first sale and the ' middle passage,' are broken 
up for ever. Here, too, the last sentiments of manly res- 
pect and female delicacy, which may have outlived the in- 
dignities of breeder and driver, are tortured by brutal and 
licentious jests, cruel taunts, and shameful exposures of 
the person before an assembled multitude. The coarse cry 
of the auctioneer, the eager bidding of the emulous pur- 
chasers, the loud shouts of the rabble at the ribaldry with 
which the crier intersperses his vociferations, the exulting 
laugh of the successful bidder, the guillotine-fall of the 
auction-hammer, the fiendish clutch of the new owners 
upon their trembling prey, the groans, shrieks, tears, and 
last embraces of the slaves, as they are torn violently apart 
by their several purchasers, form a mixture of wickedness 
and woe to be found nowhere else this side of perdition. 
We quote some accounts of slave-auctions, given by eye- 
witnesses." 

" ' Mr. Stone witnessed a sale of slaves, in Charlestown, 
South Carolina, which he thus describes : 

" I saw droves of the poor fellows driven to the slave- 
markets, kept in different parts of the city, one of which I 
visited. The arrangements of this place appeared some- 



NOTES. 2W> 

thing like our northern horse-markets, having sheds or 
barns in the rear of a public-house, where alcohol was a 
handy ingredient to stimulate the spirit of jockeying. As 
the traders appeared, lots of Negroes were brought from 
the stables into the bar-room, and by a flourish of the whip 
were made to assume an active appearance. \ What will 
you give for these fellows ? ' * How old are they ? » ' Are 
they healthy ?' • Are they quick? ' &c, at the same time 
the owner would give them a cut with a cowhide, and tell 
them to dance and jump, cursing and swearing at them if 
they did not move quick. In fact, all the transactions in 
buying and selling slaves partake of jockey ship, as much 
as buying and selling horses. There was as little regard 
paid to the feelings of the former as we witness in the 
latter. From these scenes I turn to another, which took 
place in front of the noble l Exchange buildings ' in the 
heart of the city. On the left side of the steps, as you 
leave the main-hall, immediately under the windows of 
that proud building, was a stage built, on which a mother 
with eight children were placed, and sold at auction. I 
watched their emotions closely, and saw their feelings 
were in accordance with human nature. The sale began 
with the eldest child, who, being struck off to the highest 
bidder, was taken from the stage or platform by the 
purchaser, and led to his waggon and stowed away, to be 
carried into the country ; the second and third were also 
sold, and so until seven of the children were torn from 
their mother, while her discernment told her they were to 
be separated probably for ever, causing in that mother the 
most agonizing sobs and cries, in which the children 
seemed to share. The scene beggars description : suffice it 
to say, it was sufficient to cause tears from one at least 
6 whose skin was not colored like their own,' and I was 
not ashamed to give vent to them." 



270 XOTES. 

Maranatha ! from birth to death I — p. 93. 

Maranatha is a form of threatening, cursing, anathema- 
tizing among the Jews. It means " the Lord comes " — 
St. Paul pronounces Anathema Maranatha, against all 
who love not our Lord Jesus Christ. — 1 Cor. xvi. 22. 

Facts relative to the reflection in the foregoing verses, 
will be found in the notes to the next Canto. 



NOTES TO CANTO IV. 



They cry to thee, O God ! the mother cries, $c. — p. 97. 

Gridan : O Signor nostro aita aita ! Petrarca, Canz. Indir. 

a Cola di Renzo. 



Chieftains of Mandingo's court — p. 98. 

This is not a mere assumption. It was not uncommon 
to see Negroes who were looked upon with more than 
usual respect by their " ship-mates " or companions of the 
middle-passage. If the " tattooing " of the Africans has 
any reference to dignity, as that of other uncivilized 
nations, it is impossible to doubt that many of the Negroes 
in the "West Indies had been " chieftains" in Fatherland. 
I have seen a woman, who was reported to have been a 
" princess " in Africa. She was a native of Manding, for 



NOTES. 271 

which I have used the word Mandingo in the text, — pro- 
perly, an inhabitant of Manding. Park's account of this 
people is very flattering on the whole : other travellers 
speak in like terms of them. If I remember rightly, Fox, 
in one of his speeches in Parliament, adduced some 
instances of Negro princes, chieftains, and, I am sure, " a 
philosopher" of the benighted land, who had been kidnapped 
and sold into Slavery. 

But that we toil — for ever toil — 

Another comes and reaps the spoil! — p. 98. 

" Sic vos non vobis" fyc. — Virg. 



Made the mother quail afar — p. 98. 

" Ilium ex mocnibus hosticis 

Matrona," &c— Hor. Car. III. 2. 



What have ye left him tlien ? To sigh 
Thro'' life in hopeless agony. — p. 99. 

After detailing the multiform cruelties to which the 
poor slave is exposed in the northern breeding States, the 
Report continues — " We pass to consider the features 
which arise from the breeding, rearing, and selling of 
slaves. This system bears with extreme severity upon the 
slave. 

First : It subjects him to a perpetual fear of being sold 
to the " soul-driver," * which to the slave is the realisation 

* " This horrible, expressive appellation is in common use 
among the slaves of the breeding States." 



272 NOTES. 

of all conceivable woes and horrors, more dreaded than 
death. An awful apprehension of this fate haunts the poor 
sufferer, by day and by night, from his cradle to his grave. 
Suspense hangs like a thunder-cloud over his head. He 
knows that there is not a passing hour, whether he wakes 
or sleeps, which may not be the last that he shall spend 
with his wife and children. Every day or week some ac- 
quaintance is snatched from his side, and thus the con- 
sciousness of his own danger is kept continually awake. 
( Surely my turn will come next/ is his harrowing convic- 
tion ; for he knows that he was reared for this, as the ox 
for the yoke, or the sheep for the slaughter. In this aspect, 
the slave's condition is truly indescribable. Suspense, 
even when it relates to an event of no great moment, and 
( endureth but for a night,' how hard to bear ! But when 
it broods over all, absolutely all that is dear, chilling the 
present with its deep shade, and casting its awful gloom 
over all the future, it must break the heart ! Such is the 
suspense under which every slave in the breeding States 
lives. It poisons all his little lot of bliss. If a father, he 
cannot go forth to his toil without bidding a mental fare- 
well to his wife and children. He cannot return weary 
and worn from the field, with any certainty that he shall 
not find his home robbed and desolate. Nor can he seek 
his bed of straw and rags, without the frightful misgiving 
that his wife may be torn from his arms before morning. 
Should a white stranger approach his master's mansion, he 
fears that the soul-driver has come, and awaits in terror the 
overseer's mandate, 'You are sold; follow that man.' 
There is no being on earth whom the slaves of the breed- 
ing States regard with so much horror as the trader. He is 
to them what the prowling kidnapper is to their less 
wretched brethren in the wilds of Africa. The master 



NOTES. 273 

knows this, and that there is no punishment so effectual to 
secure labour or deter from misconduct, as the threat of 
being delivered to the ' soul-driver.' " * 

By day the drought, by night the chill 

I bore, and did my Master's will, fyc. — p. 99. 

" The ways in which the slaves suffer are almost in- 
numerable: we can specify only those which are most 
prominent. They suffer from being overworked — from 
hunger — from want of sleep — from insufficient clothing — 
from inadequate shelter — from neglect in the various 
conditions of feebleness and sickness — from lust, and from 
positive inflictions. 

" 1. The slaves suffer from being overworked. It 
has been stated that hard labour was the object for which 
they were originally bought, and amassing wealth the end. 
Now, since the more labour, (if within the limit of human 
endurance,) the more wealth, overworking is in the planting 
States a matter of course ; and since to the desire of wealth 
there is no bound to the exactions of toil, there will be no 
bound but human possibility. 

" Mr. Dickinson stated as a fact, that the sugar-planters 
upon the sugar coast in Louisiana had ascertained, that as 
it was usually necessary to employ about twice the amount 
of labour during the boiliDg season that was required 
during the season of raising, they could, by excessive 
driving day and night during the boiling season, accom- 
plish the whole labour with one set of hands. By pursuing 
this plan, they could afford to sacrifice a set of hands once in 
seven years. He further stated, that this horrible system 
was now practised to a considerable extent ! The correct- 

* Slavery, §c. in the United States, by the American Anti- 
Slavery Society. 



274 NOTES. 

ness of this statement was substantially admitted by the 
slave-holders then on board." 

In fact, " the laws of South Carolina permit the master 
to compel his slaves to work fifteen hours in the twenty- 
four in summer, and fourteen in the winter — which 
would be in winter from day-break in the morning until 
four hours after sunset ! n — See 2 Brevard's Digest. 
243. 

" The other Slave States, except Louisiana, have no laws 
respecting the labour of slaves; consequently, if the master 
should work his slaves day and night without sleep till they 
drop dead, he violates no law ! " 

" The law of Louisiana provides for the slaves but two 
and-a-half hours in the twenty-four for rest ! " — Mar- 
tin's Digest. 

" 2. The slaves suffer greatly from hunger. This is the 
certain consequence of the planting policy, as has been 
shown. To suppose an opposite effect would be wholly 
unreasonable. From the following testimony it will be 
seen, that, in respect both to quantity and quality of food, 
the planters conform to the most rigid requirements 
of avarice." [Then follow numerous statements with 
the names and addresses of witnesses to the fact.] 

Take the following : — " I received my information from 
a lady in the west, of high respctability and great moral 
worth, but think it best to withhold her name, although 
the statement was not made in confidence. 

" My informant stated, that she sat at dinner once in 
company with General Wade Hampton, and several 
others ; that the conversation turned upon the treatment 
of their servants, &c; when the General undertook to en- 
tertain the company with the relation of an experiment he 
had made in the feeding of his slaves on cotton-seed. He 
said that he first mingled one fourth cotton-seed with 



NOTES. 275 

three-fourths corn, on which they seemed to thrive toler- 
ably well ; that he then had measured out to them equal 
quantities ef each, which did not seem to produce any 
important change ; afterwards he increased the quantity of 
cotton-seed to three-fourths, mingled with one-fourth corn, 
and then he declared, with an oath, that * they died like 
rotten sheep ! ' It is but justice to the lady to state, that she 
spoke of his conduct with the utmost indignation ; and she 
mentioned also that he received no countenance from the 
company present, but that all seemed to look at each other 
with astonishment. I give it to you just as I received 
it from one who was present, and whose character for 
veracity is unquestionable." 

I shall here make such extracts as bear upon the first 
section of Canto IV. 

The word " coffle " has been mentioned. " The slaves 
in these conies are so firmly secured by handcuffs and 
chains, that they seldom even attempt to rescue them- 
selves. From one to three men, armed as usual, will 
drive a gang of hundreds in safety. It is not improbable, 
however, that difficulties occur more frequently than is 
commonly supposed. It would be surprising indeed if 
men and women, frenzied with the loss of their relatives, 
goaded to desperation by the lash of the driver, and know- 
ing the frightful oppressions to which they were tending 
on the plantations of the South, would not rise, even in 
their chains, and crush their merciless tyrants. [An in- 
stance is given.] The subjoined account is of a female 
— a coloured girl, named Mary Brown, who was freeborn, 
but kidnapped a few years since, and sent to the south in 
a coifie, chained to a man-slave. 

* Mary says that she frequently waded rivers in her 
chains, with water up to her waist. It was in October .... 
^fter travelling thus twelve or fifteen days, her arms and 

t 2 



276 NOTES. 

ankles became so swollen, that she felt she could go no 
further. Blisters would form on her feet . . . .They had no 
beds, and usually slept in barns, or out on the naked 
ground — was in such misery when she lay down, that she 
could only lie and cry all night. Still they drove them on 
for another week. Her spirits became so depressed, and 
she grieved so much about leaving her friends, that she 
could not eat, and every time the trader caught her crying, 
he would beat her, accompanying it with dreadful curses. 
The trader would whip and curse any of them he found 
praying. One evening he caught one of the men at prayer; 
he took him, lashed him down to a parcel of rails, and beat 
him dreadfully. He told Mary that if he caught her pray- 
ing, he would give her hell ! (Mary was a member of the 
Methodist church in Washington.) There was a number 
of pious people in the company, and at night, when the 
driver found them melancholy and disposed to pray, he 
would have a fiddle brought, and make them dance in 
their chains. It mattered not how sad or weary they were, 
he would whip them till they would do it. Mary at length 

became so weak, that she could travel no further 

the trader fearing that he should lose her, carried her the 
remainder of the way in a waggon. When they arrived 
at Natchez, they were all offered for sale, and as Mary was 
still sick, she begged that she might be sold to a kind 
master. She would sometimes make this request in presence 
of purchasers, but was always insulted for it ; and after 
they were gone, the trader would punish her for such pre- 
sumption. On one occasion he tied her up by her hands, 
so that she could only touch the end of her toes to the 
floor. This was soon after breakfast ; he kept her thus 
suspended, whipping her at intervals during the day. 
At evening he took her down. She was so much bruised 
that she could not lie down for more than a week after- 



NOTES. 277 

wards. He often beat and choked her for another purpose 

until she was obliged 

" She was at length sold to a wealthy man of Vicks- 
burgh, for 450 dollars, for a house-servant ; but he had 
another object in view. He compelled her to gratify his 
licentious passions, and had children by her. This was the 
occasion of so much difficulty between him and his wife, 
that he has now sent her up to Cincinnati to be free." 

The Driver's bell would be obey'd, $c. — p. 99. 

The Overseer in America seems to discharge the office of 
the Driver in the West Indies in the day of Slavery : but 
whatever was the obduracy of the latter, it fell far short of 
the fiendlike recklessness of the American Overseer. " An- 
other feature of the planting policy is to employ overseers, 
and arm them with every instrument of torture necessary 
to compel the utmost amount of labour. The planter, as 
lost to humanity as to honesty, not only denies his slaves 
just wages, but consigns them to the discretionary ma- 
nagement of the vilest monsters that ever wore human 
form. ' Overseer ' is the name which designates the 
assemblage of all brutal propensities and fiendish passions 
in one man. An overseer must be the lowest of all objects, 
consenting to be loathed and detested by the master who 
employs him ; and at the same time he must be the most 
callous of all reprobates in order to inflict tortures, from 
the sight of which the planter himself sometimes recoils 
with horror. He must find his supreme delight in human 
torture ; groans must be his music, and the writhings of 
agony his realisation of bliss ! He must become that un- 
speakably vile thing, a scullion of avarice, wielding the 
clotted lash for another's wealth, contented himself to re- 



278 NOTES. 

ceive a petty stipend as the reward of his execrable voca- 
tion. But a description of the southern overseer has 
already been drawn by a master hand, that of the Hon. 
William Wirt, late Attorney-General of the United States, 
a Virginian and a slave-holder. ( Last and lowest, a fecu- 
lum of beings, called ' overseers '■ — the most abject, degraded, 
unprincipled race, always cap in hand to the dons who em- 
ploy them, and furnishing materials for the exercise of 
their pride, insolence, and spirit of domination. Such is 
the monster to whose unlimited control the planter com- 
mits his hundreds of slaves. One injunction only is laid 
upon him, and that is, to make the largest crops possible. 
The planter himself generally resides at a distance from 
his estate, or if he lives upon it, rarely interferes with the 
management of affairs. He usually disregards the slaves' 
complaints of cruelty ; since to notice them, and interpose 
between the parties, would lessen the authority of the over- 
seer, and hazard the reduction of his crops. Consequently, 
the slaves have, for the most part, no appeal from the 
outrages of a brutal overseer. 

" It is a dreadful reflection, moreover, that the overseer 
is strongly tempted to cruelty by appeals to his selfishness. 
His reputation is graduated by the amount of his crops. 
If they are large, his character is established, and his 
situation made permanent, with an increase of salary. But 
to make great crops he must drive the slaves. Besides, the 
wages of overseers are generally either in proportion to 
the crop which they raise, or a stipulated portion of the 
crop itself. Thus the overseer's interest conspires with 
that of the planter to perpetuate a system of hard driving, 
which is carried out by the incessant application of the 
lash." 



NOTES. 279 

True it was man that me oppressed — 

But then I saw my tyrant blessed, $c. — p. 100. 

I can bear testimony to the truth of the following opi- 
nion of the Negroes, as recorded by Stewart. " But, above 
all, they cannot reconcile it to fairness that the Supreme 
Ruler of the universe should have shown so marked a pre- 
dilection for the whites, as to give dominion to them, while 
he placed the blacks, who have no wish to offend him, in a 
state of perpetual bondage under them. They have not 
yet learned" (how could they have learned ?) "the doctrine 
of unrepining submission to the will of Providence ; though 
such among them as boast of being Christians, when they 
meet with crosses and vexations, usually exclaim, ' The 
Lord's will be done ! ' " 

My wife, my daughters, forced from me. 
Without remorse or penalty ! — p. 100. 

" The slaves suffer from the outrages of lust. The 
misery endured from this one source must be inconceiv- 
able. It is, moreover, an evil to which every slave, hus- 
band, father, and brother, is subject. There is not a wife, 
daughter, mother, or sister, who is not completely at the 
disposal of the master, the master's sons, and the overseer. 
No husband can feel the least assurance that his own bed will 
remain undefiled. The parents have no guarantee that 
their daughters will reach the earliest years of woman- 
hood, without falling victims to prowling lust. Testi- 
mony on this point is quite superfluous." Again, " Another 
consequence of this system (slave-breeding) is the preva- 
lence of licentiousness. This is indeed one of the foul 
features of slavery everywhere : but it is especially pre- 
valent and indiscriminate where slave-breeding is conducted 



280 NOTES. 

as a business. It grows directly out of this system, and is 
inseparable from it. In the planting States, licentiousness is 
a passion, but in the breeding States it is both a passion 
and a pursuit : in the former it is fostered by lust — in the 
latter by lust and cupidity : there it is a mere irregularity ; 
here it is a branch of a flourishing trade — a trade made 
more flourishing by its prevalence. The pecuniary in- 
ducement to general pollution must be very strong, since 
the larger the slave-increase, the greater the master's 
gains, and especially since the mixed blood demands a consi- 
derably higher price than the pure black. This is a temptation 
which often overcomes both the virtue and the pride of 
white men ; so often, that it is to be doubted whether, as 
touching this matter, there be much left." I refrain from 
quoting the means employed to this end. Pagan Rome in 
her greatest licentiousness was never a more abandoned 
prostitute than Christian America in her slave-breeding 
States ! But the Satyre of Juvenal must be reversed there 
— " prowling lust" seeks, but is not sought after ; its aim 
is not to be gratified merely, but to profit by the sacred 
economy of nature ! Its endeavour is not to prevent, but 
to ensure the result. And here is another source of afflic- 
tion to the slave. It seems that every law, social, phy- 
sical, and divine, is enlisted to crush the miserable race ! 
" Where fruitfulness is the greatest of virtues, barrenness 
will be regarded as worse than a misfortune — as a crime, 
and the subjects of it will be exposed to every form of 
privation and infliction. Thus a deficiency wholly beyond 
the slaves' control, becomes the occasion of inconceivable 
suffering." A mother lost her child. " After its death 
the planter called the woman to him, and asked how she 
came to let the child die ; said it was owing to her careless- 
ness, and that he meant to flog her for it. She told him 
with all the feeling of a mother, the circumstances of its 



NOTES. 281 

death. But her story availed her nothing against the 
savage brutality of her master : she was severely whipped. 
A healthy child, four months old, was then considered worth 
100 dollars in North Carolina." Another instance is 
given of an owner, who ordered his women or harem into 
a barn, and actually whipped them, " because," said he, 
" you don't breed ; I have not had a young one from one 
of you for several months. " It is indeed to be wondered 
at that the poor creatures can become mothers when ex- 
posed to such a dreadful abuse of the laws of nature. 



/ err'd — but mine not all the blame ? 
To me thy Gospel never came. — p. 101. 

"Their religious privileges are but little superior to their 
educational [which shall be given further on]. Religion 
seems to be regarded as a foe, not less dangerous to slavery 
than education itself. We quote the following abstract of 
the principal laws of the Slave States, pertaining to the 
religious privileges of the slaves, from Joy's Inquiry, 
pp. 136, 137- 

" In vain has the Redeemer of the world given the 
command to preach the Gospel to every creature ; his 
professed disciples in the Slave States have issued a coun- 
ter order ; and, as we have already seen, have, by their 
laws, incapacitated 2,000,000 of their fellow-men from 
complying with the injunction, ' Search the Scriptures/ 
Not only are the slaves debarred from reading the won- 
derful things of God, they are practically prevented, with 
a few exceptions, from ever hearing of them. In Georgia, 
any justice of the peace may, at his discretion, break up 
any religious assembly of slaves, and may order each slave 
present to be corrected without trial, by receiving, on the 



282 NOTES. 

bare back, twenty-five stripes with a whip, switch, or 
cow-skin/ 

"In South Carolina, slaves may not meet together for 
the purpose of l religious worship' before sunrise, or after 
sunset, unless the majority of the meeting be composed of 
white persons, under the penalty of twenty lashes well laid 
on. As it will be rather difficult for the slave to divine, 
before he goes to the meeting, how many blacks, and hov^ 
many whites will be present, and of course which colour 
will have the l majority,' a due regard for his back will 
keep him from the meeting. 

"In Virginia all evening meetings of slaves at any 
meeting-house* are unequivocally forbidden, &c. 

" On this, as well as on every other subject relating to 
slavery, we would rather fall short of, than exceed the 
truth. We will not assert that there are no Christians 
among the slaves, for we trust there are some. When, 
however, we recollect that they are denied the Scriptures, 
and all the usual advantages of the Sunday-school, and 
are forbidden to unite among themselves in acts of social 
worship and instruction, and that almost all sermons they 
hear are such as are addressed to educated whites, and of 
course above their own comprehension, we may form some 
idea of the obstacles opposed to their spiritual improve- 
ment. Let it be recollected, that every master possesses 
the tremendous power of keeping his slaves in utter igno- 
rance of their Maker's will, and of their own immortal 
destinies. And now with all these facts, and their conse- 
quences and tendencies in remembrance, we ask, if we do 
not make a most abundant and charitable allowance when 
we suppose that 245,000 slaves possess a saving knowledge 
of the religion of Christ ? And yet after tins admission — 

* All churches or chapels in America are called meeting- 
houses. 



NOTES. 283 

one which probably no candid person will think too 
limited, there will remain in the bosom of our country 
two millions of human beings, who, in consequence of 
our laws, are in a state of heathenism /" 

I cannot pass by one more extract. A writer in the 
Lexington Western Luminary remarks : " I proclaim it 
abroad to the Christian world, that heathenism is as real in 
the Slave States as it is in the South Sea islands, and that 
our negroes are as justly objects of attention to the Ame- 
rican and other boards of foreign missions, as the Indians 
of the western wilds. What is it that constitutes heathen- 
ism ? Is it to be destitute of a knowledge of God — of 
his Holy Word — never to have heard hardly a sentence 
of it read through life — to know little or nothing of the 
history, character, instruction, and mission of Jesus Christ 
— to be totally devoid of moral knowledge and feeling — of 
sentiments and probity — truth and chastity 1 If this con- 
stitutes heathenism, then there are thousands — millions 
of heathens in our own beloved Land. Gracious God ! 
merciful Redeemer ! shall thy Word and thy Gospel be 
proclaimed in simplicity and truth to one portion of our 
population, and shall another be born, and live, and die, 
where the Sun of Righteousness shines freely and fully, 
and never receive more than a dim and wandering ray of 
his light and glory ? " 

" This testimony, it will be borne in mind, is from the 
heart of Kentucky, a State which has the reputation of 
granting greater religious privileges to its slaves, than any 
other in the Union." * 

* So likewise in Jamaica, in former times. A writer quoted 
by Stewart, says :"To my knowledge some curates have applied 
to many proprietors, trustees, and managers of properties, ex- 
pressing not only their willingness, but their desire to be called 
upon to discharge the active duties of their office in the instruc- 



284 NOTES. 



Thy wrath was all I ever knew I — p. 101. 

" At night we all lay down on the naked floor to sleep, 
in our hand-cuffs and chains. The women lay on one side 
of the room, and the men who were chained with me 
occupied the other. I slept but little this night, which J 
passed in thinking of my wife and little children, whom I 
could not hope ever to see again. I at length fell asleep, 
but was distressed with painful dreams. My wife and 
children seemed to be weeping and lamenting my cala- 
mity ; and beseeching and imploring my master, on their 
knees, not to carry me away from them. My little boy 
came and begged me not to go and leave him, and endea- 
voured, as I thought, with his little hands, to break the 
fetters that bound me. I awoke in agony, and cursed my 
existence. I could not pray ; for the measure of my woes 
seemed to be full, and I felt as if there was no mercy in 
heaven, nor compassion on earth, for a man who was born 
a slave." — "Narrative of the Life, $c. of Charles Ball" 
— for forty years a slave. — p. 36. See Report, p. 59. 



Remnants, perchance, of centric suns that were, fyc. — p. 103. 

The stars are suns like our own, and doubtless, like that 
luminary, centres of so many worlds which they vivify. 
They are distinguished from the planets by their twinkling, 
the latter shining with a steady light. The different mag- 
nitudes enumerated (15) are to be considered as indicative of 
their brightness only ; for their disks, seen through the most 
powerful telescopes, are merely luminous points without sensible 

tion of the ignorant slaves, but in no single instance have their 
services been accepted, S$c. p. 293. This was a general feature of 
Slavery in the West Indies, as the Methodists can testify. 



NOTES. 285 

dimension.* Part of the text was suggested by the well-known 
phenomena of the " changing or changeable stars." Some 
have suddenly appeared, increased in brightness, dimi- 
nished, and then disappeared entirely. Historians tell of 
brilliant stars which have astonished the world : one ap- 
peared at the birth of Christ. In 389 a star was seen, 
which shone with the splendour of the planet Venus for 
three weeks, and vanished for ever, &c. &c. 

Other stars have periodic variations in the intensity of 
their light. These are very numerous, but the periods of 
only thirteen have been recognised. Some stars are gra- 
dually increasing in light, whilst others are diminishing. 
What are the causes of these great phenomena ? It is 
supposed with probability, that vast conflagrations have 
destroyed the stars which have suddenly been seen, and 
disappeared, when their enduring light (which is all that 
was seen) has passed beyond the range of man's vision — 

Twinkling as dying lamps from sphere to sphere, 
Till all their energies be spent ! 

Hark ! His the evening gale, <§•<?. — p. 105. 

If there be any melody in this description of the land- 
breeze in the West Indies, perhaps its key-note is to be 
found in those beautiful verses of Dante, 

" Era gia l'ora che volge il disio 
Ai naviganti." &c. 

which have been almost as beautifully translated by 
Byron : 

" Soft hour, which wakes the wish," &c. 

* Ajasson de G., Astron 



28G 



But, very little imagination was required to describe so 
lovely a reality as an evening in the Isles. Every circum- 
stance in the text is necessary to the description. I have 
added nothing. 



We died — 



The murder could be justified. — p. 106. 

" The master may, at his discretion, inflict any punish- 
ment upon the slave. By this it is not meant that there 
are no laws professing to protect the life and limbs of the 
slave : but that the slave derives no actual protection from 
such laws. 

" After declaring that he who is ( guilty of wilfully and 
maliciously killing a slave, shall suffer the same punish- 
ment as if he had killed a freeman ; ' the act (of North 
Carolina) concludes thus : ' Provided always, this act shall 
not extend to the person killing a slave outlawed by virtue 
of any act of Assembly of this State ; or to any slave in the 
act of resistaDce to his lawful overseer or master, or to any 
slave dying under moderate correction.^ Reader, look at 
this proviso. 1. It gives free license to all persons to kill 
outlawed slaves. "Well, what is an outlawed slave ? A slave 
who runs away, lurks in swamps, &c, and kills a hog or 
any other domestic animal to keep himself from starving, 
is subject to a proclamation of outlawry; {Haywood' '$ 
Manual, 521) ; and then whoever finds him may shoot him, 
tear him in pieces with dogs, burn him to death over a slow 
fire, or kill him by any other tortures. 2. The proviso 
grants full license to a master to kill his slave, if the slave 

resist him also for offering to resist. (Stroud's 

Sketch, 37.) If, for example, a slave undergoing the pro- 
cess of branding should resist by pushing aside the burning 
stamp ; or if wrought up to frenzy by the torture of the 



NOTES. 287 

lash, he should catch and hold it fast ; or if he break loose 
&c, or refuse to be flogged — or struggle to keep his clothes 
on &c. — or, if the master attempt the violation of the 
slave's wife, and the husband resist his attempts without 
the least effort to injure him, but merely to shield his wife 
from his assaults, this law does not merely permit, but it 
authorizes the master to murder the slave on the spot ! " — 
See Report, pp. 176—184. 

" If a wretch assail her, (a girl,) and attempt to violate 
her chastity, and the trembling girl, in her anguish and 
terror, instinctively raise her hand against him in self- 
defence, she shall, saith the law, ' suffer death/ " — Ibid. 
p. 179. " Reader, this diabolical law is the ' public opi- 
nion ' of Georgia and South Carolina toward the slaves." — 
Ibid. 

After this account of matters in America, it were quite 
superfluous to give evidence of murders of slaves in the 
West Indies. 



What tho y a beggar he began, <%c. — p. 105. 

" Most enormous fortunes," says Sir A. Halliday, " have 
been realised in British Guiana, and with a facility scarcely 
credible ; but I regret to have to add, that there are not 
many instances in which estates as yet have come down entire 
to the third generation. I have heard it remarked in the 
colony, by more than one, that all who came to it with 
wealth, and had purchased estates on their arrival, were 
reduced to poverty ; while those who came in poverty, had 
acquired, many of them, unbounded wealth. Some of the 
richest proprietors of the present day came to the colony 
within the last thirty years as merchants' clerks or over- 
seers, and with no other property than the clothes they 
wore. Scotch economy and Scotch industry, were never 



288 NOTES. 

more successfully exerted than in Demerara ; and being in 
manners and feelings already half Dutch, they easily amal- 
gamated with the original settlers, and appear very quietly 
to have stept into their places." * 

We have treadmills, and the whip. — p. 107. 

"On the mill there was a mulatto woman, perhaps 
about thirty, dreadfully exhausted ; indeed, she could not 
step any more, although she had been on only a few 
minutes. The driver flogged her repeatedly, and she as 
often made the attempt to tread the mill, but nature was 
worn out. She was literally suspended by the bend of 
the elbow of one arm, a negro holding down the wrist at 
the top of the mill for some minutes ; and her poor legs 
knocking against the revolving steps of the mill, until her 
blood marked them. There she hung, groaning, and anon 
received a cut from the driver, to which she appeared almost 
indifferent," &c. " But she was not the only one who 
suffered; a black girl, apparently about eighteen, was 
equally exhausted when we arrived. She was moaning 
piteously. Her moans were answered by the cut of the 
whip. She endeavoured again and again to tread the 
mill, but was unable. She had lost all power, and hung 
in the same helpless way with the mulatto woman, sus- 
pended by the left arm, held on by the wrist by the negro 
above. The bend of the arm passed over the rail, and the 

* British Guiana, p. 117. Relatively to this subject I may 
observe that the Scotch have almost universally succeeded in the 
West Indies also. A friend informed me that there is in Jamaica 
a grass or plant (I forget which) which is very hardy, growing in 
any soil. The Negroes call it Scotchee; and if you ask them, 
why ? they will answer, " 'cause him tribe ebery ware," (because 
it thrives everywhere). 



NOTES. 289 

wrist was held down tightly, so that she could not alter 
her position, or get the least ease by moving. It was 
affecting to hear her appeals to the driver. 'Sweet 
massa, do pity me — do, sweet massa, pity me — my arm is 
broke ! ' Her entreaties to be relieved were answered by 
cuts from the whip, and threats that, if, she did not cease 
to make a noise, he would have her down and flog her. 
The fear that he would carry his threat into execution, 
led her to suppress her feelings as well as she could. I then 
engaged the attention of the driver in a conversation, and 
managed to place him towards me in such a position, tliat 
he could not see the mill, and by a multitude of questions 
occupied about two minutes of the time, until the glass 
had run down ; thus saving the poor creature any more 
flogging. When let go, she sank on the ground, ex- 
hausted, but managed to crawl away from the scene of 
her suffering."— -See " The West Indies in 1837." 

The Lictors scourge until no strength they find 

To wield the insatiate remorseless lash, 8{c. — p. 111. 

" The slaves are suspended by the wrists, with their 
toes just touching the ground ; their ankles having been 
tied, a heavy log or fence-rail is thrust between their legs. 
In this situation, naked, they are flogged with a cow-hide,* 
till their blood and bits of mangled flesh stream from their 
shoulders to the ground. Again, they are stretched at 
full length upon the earth, their faces downwards, each of 

* " This is a strip of raw hide, cut the whole length of the 
ox, and twisted while in that state until it tapers to a point ; 
when it has become dry and hard, it has somewhat the appear- 
ance of a drayman's whip, but the sharp edges projecting at 
every turn, cut into the flesh at every stroke; it is indeed a 
dreadful instrument of punishment." 



290 NOTES. 

their wrists and ankles is lashed to a stake driven firmly 
into the ground. Thus stretched, so that they cannot 
shrink in the least from the descending blows, they receive 
sometimes hundreds of lashes on their naked backs. So 
protracted is the flogging frequently, that the overseer 
stops in the midst of it to take breath, and rest his tired 
muscles, only to resume it with increased violence. In 
such cases the back of the slave presents to the beholder 
one mass of clotted blood and mangled flesh. Sometimes, 
instead of lashing the ankles and wrists to stakes, the 
overseer orders four strong slaves to hold the victim. 
The persons selected to do this are sometimes, through a 
refinement of cruelty, the relatives of the sufferer. 
Again, the slaves are stripped, and bound upon a log, and 
in this position they are tortured with heavy paddles, bored 
full of holes, each of which raises a blister at every stroke : 
or infuriated cats are repeatedly dragged backwards from 
the shoulders to their hips. After either of the foregoing 
modes of lacerating the flesh, spirits of turpentine, a 
solution of salt, cayenne pepper, or pulverized mustard, 
is rubbed into the bleeding wounds, to aggravate and pro- 
long the torment. Woman, in her most delicate condition, 
is subjected to humiliation and suffering, by being driven 
up to the day, and sometimes to the moment of her deli- 
very, to labour with the promiscuous gang, and to feel the 
overseer's lash in case she lags behind. When runaways 
are discovered and attempt to flee, they are fired upon, 
and maimed or killed. They are pursued by trained dogs, 
which worry them and tear their flesh, not unfrequently 
taking their lives. When retaken, though worn by their 
struggles, and faint with the loss of blood, they are 
attached by a long rope to their master's saddle, and 
furiously dragged homeward, while an attendant, riding 
behind, plies the bloody lash. They often fall dead on the 



NOTES. 291 

road in the midst of these forced marshes." — p. 130, 131. 
" In moments of passion the planter or overseer seizes 
any instrument within reach, after prostrating the slave 
at a blow ; and then stamps upon him till his fury is 
spent. During these paroxysms of rage, the slaves fre- 
quently suffer the most frightful mutilations and frac- 
tures/' &c. — Ibid. " They are punished by confinements 
in loathsome dungeons, by starvation, by nakedness, by 
protracted watchings, by long separation from their com- 
panions night and day — as husband from wife — by being 
forced to flog the naked bodies of their own relatives — as 
sons their mothers, or fathers their own daughters ! " 
— Ibid. 

A stranger bore the tree. — p. 112. 

" And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, 
Simon by name : him they compelled to bear the cross." 
Matt, xxvii. 32. Cyrene was a city in ancient Lybia — at 
present called Ca'iroan, in the kingdom of Berea — in 
Africa. Simon then was an African. Why should we 
disregard this circumstance in meditating on the Redemp- 
tion of Man ? 

Christ Jesu from the opening Heaven brings 
Redemption — and proclaims the just decree 
To all the bondsmen of his family. — p. 113. 

Slavery is inconsistent with Christianity — its effects are 
adverse to the accomplishment of the Christian's duty, 
both to the master and the slave. This is no argument 
to the Americans. The American churches are directly 
or indirectly the defenders of slavery. " Ministers, doc- 
tors of divinity, professors in theological and literary in- 



292 NOTES. 

stitutions have outvied corrupt politicians, unprincipled 
demagogues and infidels, in fabricating ingenious sophis- 
tries to shield Slavery from the assaults of truth," &c. 
Again, "Professors of religion are slaveholders to as 
great an extent proportionally as the openly irreligious. 
There is no obstacle whatever to church-members holding 
slaves. With the exception of the Friends or Quakers, 
the Reformed Presbyterians or Covenanters, and three 
other small sects — the United Brethren in Christ, the 
Primitive Methodists, and the Emancipation Baptists — 
there is not a single denomination in the Slave States 
which forbids slave-holding amongst its members. So far 
from any obstacle being placed in the way, there is every 
encouragement held out to professed Christiaus to hold 
slaves. If any should feel conscientious scruples about it, 
the example of the pastor and the church-officers, amply 
satisfies him that his misgivings are the result of weak- 
ness. Or if this should not perfectly convince him, a lec- 
ture or sermon from his minister, proving Slavery a 
divine institution, cannot fail to do so." * From numerous 
quotations giving the " Resolutions" of " Meetings" and 
" Conferences," &c, we shall extract the following, read 
by a Rev. J. C. Postell, a member of the S. C. Conference 
of "the Methodist E. Church"— to the citizens of 
" Orangeburgh, S. C." 

" From what has been premised, the following conclusions 
result: 1. That Slavery is a judicial visitation. 2. That it 
is not a moral evil. 3. That it is supported by the Bible. 
4. That it has existed in all ages." " l It is the Lord's 
doings, and marvellous in our eyes." ' "And had it not 
been for the best, God alone, who is able, long since would 
have overruled it. It is by divine appointment." 'f In the 

* " Slavery in America, p. 147. t !°id. P- !52 



NOTES. 293 

remarks which follow, I beg to be understood as address- 
ing Americans, not Englishmen — it were an insult to 
suppose the latter capable of entertaining such " opinions" 
as have just been quoted. 

With regard to No. 1, it is difficult to discover what is 
meant by judicial visitation. I shall therefore dismiss the 
absurdity with the question — what was the crime ? — who 
was the judge ? — where is the judgment recorded ? .... If 
"what has been premised" was based on the obsolete 
"curse of Ham" the irreverent son of Noah, let these 
blasphemous interpreters of the word of God remember 
that the very contrary to positive Slavery fell to the lot of 
his descendants, immediate and distant; and secondly, 
the by no means evident "proof" that the Africans are 
his descendants. But this subject is considered further 
on. 

No. 2. That Slavery " is not a moral evil." What do 
these slave-breeding Scribes and Pharisees understand by 
a moral evil? Is that not a moral evil which counte- 
nances, nay, induces the infringement of every command- 
ment ? This is, we grant, the peculiar feature of American 
slavery at the present day — and that such is the case will 
be evident from the details of these notes to all, except — but 
there can be no exceptions : for if Slavery in America is not 
manifestly a moral evil, even in the eyes of the vilest slave- 
breeder of the South, rape, infidelity, blasphemy, murder, 
are not moral evils, which possibly may be the decision of 
the Southern Lynch-law-mongers. But what is the argu- 
ment adduced to prove that Slavery is not a moral evil ? 
" The fact," say these cannibals, * that Slavery is of divine 
appointment, would be proof enough with the Christian 
that it cannot be a moral evil ! ! ! " " It is a merciful visi- 
tation! [Then follows the blasphemous application of the 
sacred text, quoted before.] " And had it not been for 



294 NOTES. 

the best, God alone, who is able, long since would have 
overruled it. It is by divine appointment." 

Here we have one assumption to prove another : but 
we must not expect logic from "the expounders of Lynch- 
law. We will now inquire into this " divine appoint- 
ment." It is not necessary to inform the reader that 
every verse of the Scripture is not a divine command — 
that the Scriptures are historical as well as prophetic, &c 
The historical fact that the patriarchs had " servants," as 
they are called in the text, or as the Americans would 
say <( helps" is not more in favour of the practice than the 
equally certain fact, that they had many " wives." The 
Planter may just as well prove his right to his numerous 
concubines* to be a divine institution from the Bible. The 
Hebrews (as is well known) were permitted by Moses to 
follow the practice of other nations with regard to their ser- 
vants," over whom they had an absolute control, even to the 
penalty of death : but who does not perceive, from the many 
restrictions laid upon the Jews, that this absolute authority 
was most effectually nullified ? I have shown elsewheref 
that the Hebrew servant was to all intents and purposes 
one of the master's family ; and every law relating to the 
treatment of servants, leads us to conclude that their 
condition was infinitely superior to that of servants in 
Christendom, or " helps" in America. But there are 
certain texts which the Americans will do well to consi- 
der and expound. In Deut. xxiv. 7, we find, " If a man 
be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of 
Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him ; then 

* It has been the case, that an overseer has been encouraged 
to make the whole posse his harem, and has been paid for the 
issue."— See the Report for the whole passage, p. 33. Is this a 
moral feature in Slavery ? 

t Page 199. 



NOTES. 295 

that thief shall die : and thou shalt put the evil away from 
among you." This prohibition is particular : here is a 
general one : " He that stealeth a man and selleth him, or, 
if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to 
death." Exod. xxi. 16. Now what was the source of 
Negro-Slavery, but this man-stealing ? and we find death 
to be the penalty : but of course, Moses was not a slave- 
stealer, a planter, a slave-breeder. The word slave 
occurs but twice in the Scriptures (as translated of course) 
— this is unimportant, for the word servant still conveys 
the fact. But it is remarkable nevertheless. Once in 
Jer. ii. 14, and in Rev. xviii. in the prophecy against 
" Babylon the Great," whose multitudinous "merchandise" 
is detailed, and among the rest we find "Slaves and 
the souls of men." The Southern Planter will perhaps 
shudder at these last words, when he calls to mind the 
"soul-driver"* and his "coffle."f Indeed, one would 
almost imagine that America was " the great Babylon" 
whose fall is predicted; so applicable is the character 
throughout. There is perhaps no direct argument against 
Slavery or slave-dealers in the words of Ezekiel, xxvii. 16, 
(in the prophecy against Tyre) — "Javan, Tubal, Meschech, 
.... they traded in the persons of men — excepting the cha- 
racter of the nations who were at that time engaged in 
the traffic of human flesh. They were pirates on the 
ocean, and robbers on land. Waiving this subject for the 
present, and having treated of Slavery among the Jews 
in another place, and shewn that with the exception of 
their being bought, slaves among that people were in every 
respect differently circumstanced to those of other ancient 

* The Slave-dealer is so called in America, 
f A number of slaves chained together, and driven across the 
country. 



296 NOTES. 

nations, and as the poles asunder, to those of the Americans 
— I shall confine myself to the point in immediate considera- 
tion, viz. the divine appointment of Slavery. Of course 
there is no text to that effect — then let us see if we can 
find in the spirit of Christianity proof to the contrary, in 
addition to the positive denunciation of one prominent 
class of those whose merchandise is "slaves" and the 
" souls of men." 

It will seem strange to most people that St. Paul's 
epistle to Philemon is adduced or rather referred to, as an 
argument that he approved of Slavery — " the apostle Paul 
sent a runaway slave home to his master Philemon, and 
wrote a Christian and fraternal epistle to this slaveholder, 
which we find still stands in the canons of the Scriptures ; 
and Slavery has existed ever since the days of the apostle, 
and does now exist." * I say referred to, for in that 
epistle we find quite the contrary. The master is, in plain 
terms, required to receive back the servant Onesimus — meekly 
we grant, — "for love's sake," says the Apostle, "I rather 
beseech thee," &c. : but Philemon the master was left in no 
doubt concerning what was expected ; for in the previous 
verse, heread : "Wherefore, though I might be much bold in 
Christ [or rather as the original has it, ' having in Christ 
great freedom of speech,'] to enjoin thee, that which is con- 
venient,"f [in the original eTnravvuv <roi, to command thee, 
to aviJKOv what is to the purpose, befitting, quod ad rem per- 
tinet, says the Latin text.] And what is this avrJKov, this 

* See the Report, p. 153, where the preamble and Resolutions 
are given as having passed, " unanimously" in the "Harmony 
Presbytery of South Carolina." 

f This word, like many others in the sacred text, is to be un- 
derstood in the Latin sense, not in the English, i. e. meaning 
fitness, suitableness, propriety — thus — " Disciplinae convenien- 
tissimae vir." Paterc. 



NOTES. 297 

something to the purpose, befitting ? How was this u run- 
away slave " to be received by his master ? Positively 
" Not now as a servant (ovksti dSg SovXov) ; but above a 
servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much 
more unto thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord ? If thou 
count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself ," — 
Epist. to Phil. Now what followed ? " Philemon not only 
received Onesimus as a faithful servant, but as a brother 
and a friend ; and after a little time, he sent him back to 
Rome, that he might continue his services to Paul, in his 
prison. From this time Onesimus' employment was in the 
ministry of the Gospel. The Apostolical Constitutions re- 
port that Paul made him bishop of Berea in Macedonia. 
The martyrologies call him apostle, and say he ended his 
life by martyrdom. The Roman martyrology mentions 
him as being made bishop of Ephesus by Paul, after 
Timothy." * Such was the fate of a " runaway slave," in 
the times of the Apostles — what is it now-a-days in the 
times of " the Harmony Presbytery of South Carolina ? " 
Here is an " advertisement " in the " Wilmington (North 
Carolina) Advertiser." 

" Ran away, my Negro man Richard. A reward of 
twenty-five dollars will be paid for his apprehension, dead 
or alive. Satisfactory proof will only be required of his 
being killed. He has with him, in all probability, his wife 
Eliza." 

" Durant H. Rhodes." 

In the Macon (Georgia) Telegraph, May 28th, is the 
following : 

" About the 1st of March last, the Negro man, Ransom, 
left me. I will give a reward of twenty dollars for said 

* Calmet. 



298 NOTES. 

Negro ; if taken dead or alive, and if killed in any attempt, 
an advance of five dollars will be paid. 

" Bryant Johnson." &c. &c. 

" Sometimes, on being closely pursued, the fugitives in 
their desperation destroy themselves to escape the torments 
which await them if caught. Instances occur of their 
leaping from boats, and drowning themselves ; of mothers 
killing their children, whom they are carrying with them, 
and then taking their own lives, and of suicides in every 
heart-rending form." Slavery is, however, not a moral evil, 
because it is of divine appointment. Still can we complain 
of these scribes ? When his satanic majesty quotes scrip- 
ture, he feels that he has a hard case in hand. I will now 
take leave of this Pandsemonium of the South, and visit a 
sweeter atmosphere, even if it be with the penalty of 
Theseus in similar circumstances. 

I shall now quote from a work entitled, " Mores Catho- 
lici; or, Ages of Faith"- — whose author seems to have 
read every book in every language, except the despicable 
novels, romances, et hoc genus omne of the present guilt- 
soothing age. 

" From prisons let us pass to other scenes of woe, that 
we may contemplate the charity of the blessed merciful in 
the Ages of Faith. Nearest to where we stand at present 
are the slaves. Let us visit them, and mark how Catho- 
licism alleviates their sorrows, and gradually accomplishes 
the glorious, godlike work of their moral and social 
enfranchisement. 

" How wide a field was here opened for the exercise of 
mercy may be inferred at once, if we only consider the 
fact, that those nations of antiquity whose manners ap- 
proached the nearest to the virtue of the Christian dis- 
cipline — as the Dorians generally, and above all, the 



NOTES. 299 

Spartans, were nevertheless precisely those that were 
distinguished for the obstinacy with which they retained 
Slavery. Humanity was not one of the Dorian virtues : 
but no nation, no philosopher, no legislator, no founder of 
any religious system, seems to have conceived the idea 
that it would either be possible or well to abolish such a 
custom ; so deeply and universally was it interwoven with 
the whole state and destiny of the human race. 

" To form a just estimate of the effects of Christian 
mercy in alleviating the misery of slaves, we should bear 
in mind what was the moral as well as social degradation 
of these wretched men in the ancient society. Plato puts 
the saying in the mouth of an Athenian, that there is 
nothing sound in the soul of a slave; and that no man of 
sense will ever put confidence in any of the race." * As 
Moehler remarks, however, it is not strange that a legis- 
lator, who would recommend a government to banish or 
put to death weak or sickly children, should regard slaves, 
as being only half men.+ Aristotle is most anxious to 
prove that slavery is all throughout conformable to 
nature. Hesiod says, that slaves are to the rich what oxen 
are to the poor. 

" But what a new era dawned upon the world when the 
voice of the Christian teachers preached faith and freedom 
to the servile races ! * Some one may say,' observes Lac- 
tantius, ' are there not amongst you, also, rich and poor — 

* De Legibus, lib. vi. As has been shown in a previous note, 
the conduct of the Athenians, with regard to their slaves, changed 
materially for the better subsequently. The author has done 
rightly in saying, that the opinion was " put in the mouth of an 
Athenian;" and what follows must be understood in like 
manner. 

f Geschichte der Aufhebung der Sklaverei durch der Chris- 
tenthum. 



300 NOTES. 

slaves and masters ? Is there not a difference, then, between 
each ? No ! Nor do we, on any other account, style one 
another brethren, excepting that we believe ourselves to 
be all equal ; for we measure all human things not by 
body, but by spirit ; though there be a different condition 
of bodies, yet we have no slaves ; since those whom we 
call brethren in spirit are our fellow-servants. For God 
whocreates and inspires men, wished that all should be 
just — that is equal ; that no one should be separated from 
his celestial benefits. With him no one is a slave — no one 
a master ; for since he is the same father to all, by equal 
justice we are all his children.' " * 

" St. Chrysostom concludes his admonitions with these 
words — most important, as Moehler remarks, in judicial 
history : — c Let there be a reciprocal, and in that manner, 
no service, — torw dovXeiag ical vTrorayrjg avridocng' ovtoj yap 
ovk lorai SovXeia. Let the master attend to the wants of 
the servant. Does the master renounce his obligatory 
service ? + Then in that case there is no law why the slave 
should be any longer a slave.' 

" But it was not deemed sufficient to lay down these 
principles. In one of his homilies, he blames those who 
proceed with a train of slaves to the market-place — and 
make the brethren of Christ, the temples of the Holy Ghost, 
mere ministers to the vainest pride. He says, that one or 
two slaves should be sufficient to the real wants of a rich 
master — nay, one slave can serve two or three masters. 
"Whoever has more should cause them to be instructed in 

* Lact. Div. Instit. 1. v. 

f For the exemplification of this condition, see the Report 
from p. 78 — 105, where begins the detail of still more positive 
inflictions. It may be said, with truth, that there is no indirect 
or direct mode of torture from which the American slave has not 
to suffer. z 



NOTES. 301 

some handicraft, and give them their freedom : nay, men 
should purchase slaves, and when they are well instructed 
in some trade by which they can gain a livelihood, set 
them free." * 

" The history of the middle ages supplies an interesting 
comment here ; for Catholicism was not content with des- 
troying Slavery, but, as De Coux remarks, ' It had secured 
by a thousand admirable modes of industry, the lot of the 
newly enfranchised ; and so long as society remained faith- 
ful to its voice, it knew how to preserve it from those 
dissensions between the rich and poor, which were the 
disgrace and the scourge of the most flourishing republics 
of antiquity.' 

" But to resume the discourses of St. Chrysostom. 
' When the multitude of believers at Jerusalem had all 
things in common, there were certainly no members of 
that community, who had slaves.' He excuses Abrahamby 
saying, that though he had a number of slaves, he used them 
not as such. In short this great father of the Eastern 
church went as far, in this respect, as it was possible for a 
bishop. 

" Moehler proceeding to trace the operation of the same 
principles in the West, produces several remarkable 
passages from the writings of St. Ambrose, who shows how 
they are to be reduced to practice in many of his works 
— as when he treats on Abraham, on Jacob, and the 
Blessed Life ; f and on the Patriarch Joseph. ' Slaves, 
therefore,' he says, * have an origin whence they may glory. 
Joseph was a slave. They have whence they may be con- 
soled ; they have what they may imitate, that they may 
learn the possibility of a change of state, without a change 

* Horn. 40, in Epist. ad Cor. 

f De Jacob, et Vit. Beat. 1. 1, c. 3 4. 



302 NOTES. 

of manners, that there may be freedom and constancy in 
slavery.* No condition causes an obstacle to the commen- 
dation of a man. Whether slave or free we are all one in 
Christ ; and there is no greater dignity than to serve him, 
for this is the servitude in which Paul found glory. Is it 
not the highest glory to be estimated so high, that the 
blood of the Lord is the price of redemption ? w + 

"From the writings of St. Jerome, also, we can infer what 
multitudes of slaves were then receiving their liberty 
from rich families. St. Melanae the younger, with the 
consent of her husband Pinius, discharged eight thousand 
slaves ; and she presented to her brother-in-law Severus, 
many others who chose not to be free. She had also pos 
sessions in many parts of Italy, Sicily, Gaul, Spain, Britain, 
and Africa. 

" The great philosophers and legislators of the middle 
ages transmitted these traditions, and continued to perfect 
the harmony between the external order of society, and 
the principles of faith. It would be curious to compare 
the language of popes and councils, respecting slaves and 
savages, with the solemn discourses of the philanthropical 
Presidents of modern States, who avowedly consign whole na- 
tions to destruction in the name of humanity and universal 
benevolence. St. Thomas showed that Christianity should 
necessarily induce freedom. He maintained that if a Jew 
who was a slave receive freedom, he would become free with- 
out ransom, from that moment. And in point of fact, we have 
seen, that the laws of Constantine had restored liberty to 
those who were kept in Slavery, and permitted their en- 

* This might, possibly, be the case in America but for the 
legal restrictions against the religious as well as general instruc- 
tion of the Negroes. See Report from p. 194—204. Extracts 
will be found in the sequel. 

f Exhort. Virg. c. 1. 



NOTES. 303 

franchisement in the churches, on the simple testimony of 
a bishop. Nevertheless, till so late as the 7th century, 
Slavery continued to exist in many parts of the old Roman 
world, for it was not possible that the church could at once 
extirpate it. Nay, it continued, as in the times of the 
Apostles, to be necessary to make no other opposition to it 
than by teaching the Christian doctrine, and leaving men 
to draw from it the natural inferences, and to exercise, of 
their own accord, the mercy which it was designed to in- 
spire." * 

It is perhaps advisable to state when the fathers just quoted 
nourished, Lactantius wrote about the year a. d. 300. 
St. Jerome, a. d. 392. St. Augustine, a. d. 420. St. 
Chrysostom, a. r>. 400, and St. Ambrose, a. d. 370. 

Having seen the state of the case — here is the Bull of 
" the Harmony Presbytery of South Carolina — Resolu- 
tion 2." 

" Therefore resolved, 

" That Slavery has existed from the days of those good 
old slaveholders and patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob, (who are now in the kingdom of heaven,) to the 
time when the apostle Paul sent a runaway slave home to 
his master Philemon, and wrote a Christian and fraternal 
epistle to this slaveholder, which we find still stands in 
the canons of the scriptures; and that Slavery has ex- 
isted ever since the days of the apostle, and does now 
exist." 

Answer. — So it has, and so it does, and in so horrible a 
manner that your very hearts should weep blood ! But 
you quote this fact in extenuation ! boasting that Slavery 
has existed at all times, in Egypt, among the Jews, at 
Athens, and at Rome. What then ? So has that systematic 

* Mores Catholici, or Ages of Faith, Vol. VII. 



304 NOTES. 

profligacy, in plain words — that public prostitution which 
disgraces the cities of Christendom — whose presiding 
demons are Lust and Gold — whose shuddering victim is 
woman — poor, debased, ruined woman — yearly, monthly, 
daily, hourly sacrificed on the altar of Lust. It existed in 
Egypt, among the Jews, at Athens, and at Rome ; it is 
permitted in Great Britain and America : it is licensed, 
that is, legalized in France ! If precedent is to be an ex- 
cuse for " a moral evil," of what use are the laws, the 
restrictions of society, the prohibitory mandates of Christi- 
anity ? What do these precedents prove but " that a great 
moral evil was suffered to exist in those times, and among 
those nations ? " * Meanwhile, however, that the justice 
of God has not inflicted ten plagues and a final drowning 
overthrow in the midst of the sea upon all the taskmasters of 
old, upon the Planter, the Slaveholder, and the Slave- 
breeder, is no more to be wondered at, than the equally 
remarkable fact, that brimstone and fire have not fallen 
upon Egypt, Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, New York, Lon- 
don, and Paris — as upon Sodom, Zeboim, Admah and 
Gomorrha. Terrible examples of divine punishment, as of 
old, have become less frequent : but is there no penalty in- 
flicted, therefore ? Alas ! Is it a greater penalty to be 
struck dead, than to be delivered up to our criminal desires ? 
and what does the history of Slavery exhibit but this visita- 
tion of God's most terrific retribution. Politicians can 
calculate the consequences of Slavery to Great Britain — 
political economists can measure the extent of her penalty 
in quality and kind adapted to her crime : but who shall 
catalogue the numberless moral inflictions entailed upon 
individuals, and thus upon society in the land of Slavery, 
by the direct and indirect penalties for the unscrupulous 

* Stewart, Jamaica, &c. 



305 



infringement of even one single commandment, viz., the 
seventh, in all its branches ? Just Heaven ! and is there no 
penalty for the crimes of the Slave-dealer, the Planter, the 
Slave-breeder in America ! . . * - . . 

Crushing alike the hand that would his pangs assuage. — p. 1 15. 

" The first anniversary of this Society (American Anti- 
Slavery) held in New York in May, 1834, greatly aroused 
popular indignation. The daily, commercial, and political 
papers, backed by religious periodicals, continued thence- 
forward the most persevering attacks upon the principles 
and measures of the Society. These efforts to excite the 
mob effected their desired object. About two months 
after the Anti-Slavery anniversary an Abolition meeting 
was held in New York. The city papers redoubled the 
fury of their attack, and beckoned on the mob to crush this 
' treason in the egg.' The mob accordingly assembled, 
and proceeding to the place of meeting, dispersed the as- 
sembly. Having once broken loose, they raged unchecked 
for several days. They sacked churches, broke into the 
houses of some of the most respectable citizens, dragged 
out their furniture, and burned it in the streets. They 
assailed the dwellings of the coloured people, demolished 
many of them, and sought the lives of some of the most 
prominent abolitionists, who were obliged to flee from the 
city."— p. 237. 

The gift of Reason.— Tp. 118. 

" So far from any provision being made for the educa- 
tion of the slaves, it is either entirely prohibited, or 
universally discouraged. . . .It is effectually prevented by 
public opinion. ' A law of South Carolina, passed in 1800, 
authorizes the infliction of twenty lashes on every slave 
found in an assembly convened for the purpose of i mental 



306 NOTES. 

instruction,' &c. Another law imposes a fine of £100 
on any person who may teach a slave to write." 

In North Carolina, to teach a slave to read or write, or 
to sell or give him any book {Bible not excepted) or pam- 
phlet, is punished with thirty-nine lashes ; or imprison- 
ment if the offender he a free Negro, but if a white, then 
with a fine of 200 dollars, &c. &c. &c. " The reason 
honestly assigned is that ' teaching slaves to read or write 
tends to excite dissatisfaction in their minds, and to pro- 
duce insurrection and rebellion' " &c. In plain English, 
education is regarded as positively inconsistent with 
Slavery, and its prohibition as indispensable to the con- 
tinuance of the system ! 

* God made ye black — Fate made ye slaves — so live and 
die ? "—p. 118. 

" It is well known that there exists in the United 
States a ferocious prejudice against the coloured popula- 
tion. This feeling is, apparently, as virulent against those 
who have but a slight intermixture of African blood, as 
against the jet-black Negro ; and if possible, even more 
inveterate in ihsfree than in the Slave-States. It is called 
by those who entertain it 'prejudice against colour,' and 
not without a shrewd design. They seek thus to justify 
a most unchristian scorn by representing it as the spon- 
taneous and irrepressible sentiment of the mind, in view of 
contrariety of colour. Accordingly it has been unblushingly 
upheld as a proper feeling, which it was duty to foster, and 
to extinguish which, if it were practicable, would be 
rebellion against the will of God, by whom it has been in- 
terposed as a permanent barrier between the two races. 
On the contrary, the friends of the Negro contend that this 
is not a prejudice against colour, that it is not an involun- 



NOTES. 307 

tary instinct of nature, whose existence is the voice of God, 
bespeaking its propriety, and demanding its perpetuity ; 
but that it is an incidental feeling, resulting from the en- 
slavement of the Negroes, an aversion and disdain on 
account of their condition, which attach to their colour, 
only because the latter is in the mind associated with the 
former, and an index of it.* They contend, moreover, 
that this prejudice is an outrageous insult toward a 
deeply injured class, whom it reproaches and spurns for a 
degradation which those who cherish the feeling have caused, 
and that it is a heinous sin against that God, who alike 
ordained the complexion of the black and the white man." 
In accordance with the stanza, the last line of which heads 
this note, I extract the following summary, which follows 
and precedes the details of " the prejudice against 
colour." 

" First, it excludes coloured persons of both sexes, 
whatever their respectability or refinement, from the 
public vehicles of travel, or thrusts them into parts of them, 
designed expressly for the degraded. On this point there 
are facts innumerable. 

" Second, it shuts against them all places of public 
exhibition and amusement, which are at all respect- 
able " &c. 

" It is unnecessary to specify all the privileges from 
which prejudice debars the coloured man in the United 
States. Suffice it to say, that there is not a single point 
within the entire circle of personal, social, religious, and 
political privileges, where the man of colour is allowed to 
occupy an equal footing with his white brother. We shall 
mention but one other instance — the existence of caste in 
the house of God. Humbling as is the acknowledgment, 

* See page 203. 

x2 



308 NOTES. 

truth impels us to declare that this hideous development 
of prejudice is almost universal. It is found in the city 
and in the country, and among all denominations. A folio 
would not contain the disgraceful and monstrous facts in 
illustration of this point. Religion hangs her head, and 
goes heartbroken from her temples, as she sees her sable 
children thrust into obscure corners, and separated from 
the whites as strictly as though they were infected with 
the leprosy ! " And all this inveterate antipathy is a " duty 
to God ! " If this antipathy is really independent of the 
association of enslavement, how does it happen that any 
coloured man may pass respected through the Union, if he 
have money and keep his secret ? Again, how is it that 
Americans are not influenced by this antipathy in the West 
Indies, when they sit at the tables of " coloured gentle- 
men and ladies ? " How is it that they have even married 
so-called and so-considered " ladies of colour ? " Facts 
illustrative of these points I could detail ; but all who have 
visited the West Indies have had opportunities to remark 
the strange inconsistency in the working of this chromatic 
" antipathy." 

Nor thine. Napoleon! Fortune's reckless whim! — p. 120. 



" Bonaparte was certainly, as Sir John Carr called him, 
* a splendid scoundrel/ but he was a scoundrel still. If he 
had given the religion of the Scriptures to France, after 
she had renounced her own Antichristian apostasy, he 
would have immortalized himself; but he knew nothing of 
it himself, and therefore had it not to give. ' The truth' 
(as the revelation of Heaven is emphatically called) * had 
never made him free, and he had no idea of its power to 
impart spiritual, mental, or corporeal liberty to others. 
His own unbelief did nothing to mitigate, but rather ag- 



NOTES. 309 

gravated the evils of that modification of infidelity which 
he found in the national creed. e The child and champion 
of Jacobinism/ as Pitt called him ; he was at once the idol 
and scourge of a people whom, in rescuing from a sangui- 
nary revolution, he enslaved by a not less sanguinary 
despotism. His character presents scarcely any redeeming 
qualities ; for although he was not without such a portion 
of extravasated talent, as enabled him to retain a blood- 
bought throne for a season, by the effusion of more blood, 
his memory will be eventually loathed even among the 
idolaters who have recently deified their own vanity by 
awarding him a public funeral. Without any regal blood 
in his veins, and without the education of a prince to fit him 
for a throne he had usurped, his unprecedented triumphs 
were only the result of the Divine counsels for the punish- 
ment of the corrupted religion of his own and of surround- 
ing countries ; and when he had accomplished the purposes 
of Providence, he was thrown aside, like an useless broom, 
and perished ignominiously on a foreign soil, the lawful 
prisoner of that very nation which he had never ceased to 
ridicule and despise, and which he had long been pledged 
to exterminate from the face of the earth." I found the 
above remarks a few months ago, in the " Times, " and 
considering them perfectly in unison with the sentiments 
which influenced the composition of my Prologue and the 
other verses which relate to Napoleon, I have preserved 
them for the present occasion. I was glad to find that my 
opinions of the " Scourge of God " would be countenanced 
and approved by such an authority. Dazzled by his 
achievements in earlier youth, I had the temerity to praise, 
or at least to defend Napoleon Bonaparte. I wrote the 
apology before I was twenty-one, and published the same. 
I have since grown older, if not wiser, and reprobate 
every word of that defence. I have now the same opinion 



310 NOTES. 

of Alexander, or Caesar, or Napoleon, as the Pirate had of 
the first and of himself. 



The sons of Patriots that fought by thee, $c. — p. 121. 

" In the early days of the republic, when the national 
pulse beat strongly for universal liberty, this feeling was 
comparatively weak. Then Slavery had but a feeble 
existence. Its presence was regarded with jealousy, and 
tolerated only in the hope and expectation of its speedy 
extinction. The generous purpose that our land should be 
an asylum for the oppressed of all other lands, did 
not at that time overlook the slave ; he was, prospectively 
at least, included within its ample embrace.* 

" We have evidence of the weakness of this feeling, 
during the early periods of our history, in the testimony of 
General Lafayette. It is said of him, ' Lafayette in his 
visit to the United States, expressed his astonishment at 
the increase of prejudice against colour. He remembered, 
he said, how the black soldiers used to mess with the 
whites in the revolutionary war. The leaders of that war 
are gone where principles are all — where prejudices are 
nothing. If their ghosts could arise in majestic array, 
before the American nation on their great anniversary, 
and hold up before them the mirror of their constitution, 
in the light of its first principles, where would the people 
hide themselves from the blasting radiance ? ' " 

A thousand fervent voices answer — No! — p. 121. 

The three concluding stanzas of this Canto allude to the 
American Anti-Slavery Delegates, (and there were ladies 

* See Note (2), page 148. 



NOTES. 311 

among them), who came to England for the express pur- 
pose of being present at the General Convention. It was 
not my good fortune to hear those voices of the multitudes, 
united, and as one man, proclaiming to the world their de- 
termination to lend an arm and an axe to hew down the 
tree of Slavery. But my soul was with them. I contem- 
plated in spirit the venerable Clarkson, accompanied by 
the youth destined to tread in the path his ancestor trod 
before him. Yes, he protested on that occasion " that if 
he had another life given him to live, he would devote it 
to the same object." * His grandson was by his side. He 
seemed like the veteran Hamilcar (but in a better, far 
better cause) at the altar, receiving the oath of the young 
Hannibal, swearing eternal enmity against the foes of 
Carthage. We echo the hope expressed by Mr. Sturge, 
that " when many of us are removed to that bourn, where 
the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at 
rest ; and where the distinctions of clime and colour will 
be swept away for ever, he (the young Clarkson) may see 
that the Divine blessing has rested upon our exertions, and 
behold that happy day when the sun shall cease to rise 
upon a tyrant, or set upon a slave." And what a life has 
been Mr. Clarkson' s ! " After travelling to all the slave- 
ports, obtaining, at incredible pains, histories of the 
voyages of the slave-ships, specimens of handcuffs, models 
of the construction of the vessels, &c, for the purpose of 
bringing the horrible details before the House of Commons, 
he proceeded to reduce to a legible form the whole mass 
of evidence, and published it. Not content with this, he 
actually set forth to wait personally upon every person in 
every county in the kingdom to whom the book had been 
sent, to get others of the town or neighbourhood to meet 

* Anti-Slavery Reporter, June 17th, 1840. 



312 NOTES. 

him there, to converse with them on the subject, to intreat 
their individual perusal of the abridgment, and their united 
efforts in lending it out judiciously, and in seeing that it 
was read ; and he travelled 6000 miles in the execution of 
this plan ! " * 

The labours of Wilberforce are well known — he still 
lives in the memory of the nation ; and his name is en- 
shrined in the heart of every African. — The names of 
Granville Sharp, Clarkson, and Wilberforce, I have 
selected as the patronymics of all who battled with the im- 
pious Titans of Slavery, omne nefas animo moventes. 
Granville's defence of a poor Negro, who was reclaimed 
by his master, after having been cast off by him in misery 
— and was in danger of being consigned once more to 
Slavery, even by an English tribunal, was the first note of 
freedom to the slave. " Having succeeded in the case of 
an individual Negro, he interested himself in the condition 
of many others who were wandering about the streets of 
London, and at his own expense collected a number of 
them, whom he sent back to Africa, where they formed a 
colony on the river Sierra Leone. He performed still 
more essential service, to humanity, by becoming the insti- 
tutor of the ' Society for the Abolition of the Slave-Trade,' 
which, after contending against a vast mass of opposition, 
at length (1807) gloriously succeeded, as far as this country 
was concerned, in abolishing the horrible traffic. He died, 
July, 1813."+ The exertions of the Society of Friends 
are too well known to require comment — too generally ap- 
plauded to need commendation in these pages. Mr. 
Sturge, one of the Negro's best advocates, is still 
ardent in the cause — witness his late remonstrance ;Z and 

* Encycl. Lond. + Ibid. 

X To a slave-trader in Baltimore. 



NOTES. 313 

Mr. Joseph John Gurney has lately given his powerful 
aid to the cause of Emancipation, by the publication of a 
work * whose object is, to nourish the hopes of Humanity 
— of those, who " will remember the years of the right 
hand of the Most High."f 

The American Abolitionists will find a tribute of gra- 
titude in the Poem ; and, eminently, Angelica Grimke'. 
" Here the abolitionists are in safety, and more honoured 
for their exertions by the good ; here they are encouraged 
and cheered by the smiles of the fair ; they are bound to- 
gether by a godlike truth. But far different is it with our 
friends in America ; there they are vilified and insulted. 
Very lately did not a body of so-called gentlemen — men 
who would call any one out to try rifle-shooting, who 
denied them that cognomen — break upon the Ladies' Anti- 
Slavery Society, and assault them in the most cowardly 
manner ? and where did this happen ? why in Boston, en- 
lightened Boston — the capital of a non-slaveholding 
State ! " % 

In concluding the Notes on American Slavery, I cannot 
do better than to quote some of the suggestions of the 
American Anti-Slavery Society, " for the Extinction of the 
Slave-trade and Slavery." Some have been given in the 
Preface : all should be known to the British public ; but 
want of space will not permit their insertion. 

" Great Britain is already regarded here as a nation of 
abolitionists, and her frown is greatly dreaded by the 



* " A Winter in the West Indies " — where the benevolent 
author expatiates on the happy results of Emancipation. 

f Ps. lxxvii. 10. — Of course he does not believe that " large 
crops," and " plentiful produce," are the best signs of holy suc- 
cess, or happiness among the poor. 

X O* ConnelPs Speech in the Convention: 



314 NOTES. 

advocates of Slavery. If the impression could be made 
upon the British people at large, that they may do much 
towards the removal of American Slavery, this would be 
a great point gained. If they could be made to appre- 
ciate the mighty influence which they may wield by the 
bare expression of their public sentiment against our 
Slavery, this would be a still greater gain. If also the 
responsibilities of Englishmen visiting the United States 
were deeply felt, and if they were in all cases faithful in 
condemning our Slavery and prejudice, and all who 
uphold them, they would produce the happiest effects. 
How few Englishmen, visiting the United States, are 
faithful in this respect ! How few sustain the reputation 
of their country as a nation of abolitionists ! How 
many, who are regarded at home as abolitionists, come 
here only to weaken our hands, and strengthen those of 
slaveholders and their apologists ! Again, the cause of 
American emancipation might be greatly promoted by 
communications from distinguished persons in Great Bri- 
tain, prepared expressly for publication under their own 
signatures, in our most influential, moral, and religious 
periodicals. But little has been hitherto done in this 
way, but still enough to show the importance of this in- 
strumentality. The letters of the Rev. John Angell 
James, of Birmingham, addressed to the editor of the 
New York Observer, were extensively read, and pro- 
duced a most salutary impression. . . .Let such letters be 
multiplied a hundredfold. There are many names in 
Great Britain, both in Church and State, that are che- 
rished in the hearts of multitudes of our countrymen, and 
communications signed by them would secure an extensive 
perusal. We need not say that the course here suggested 
would be wholly unexceptionable. American Slavery is a 
public thing — as much so as American liberty. It stands 



NOTES. 315 

out before the world, claiming to be 'the corner-stone 
of the Republic,' ' an essential element in a free govern- 
ment.' With such high pretensions it should surely seek 
to attract towards it the searching scrutiny of the master 
spirits of all lands. "We earnestly solicit your attention 
to this as an important means of promoting the extinction 
of American Slavery ; and trust that it will not be found 
impracticable to enlist many in this most promising 
agency. The Anti-Slavery cause in this country may 
also be greatly subserved by securing' the general discus- 
sion of American Slavery by the British press — religious, 
literary, commercial, and political. All your ablest re- 
views are reprinted and widely circulated in all parts of 
the United States. Anti-Slavery articles published in 
them would reach every portion of the union. The 
friends of human rights in Great Britain could not more 
essentially promote the cause in this country, than by 
securing the co-operation of those pre-eminently powerful 
instrumentalities in holding up American Slavery to the 
scorn and indignant reprobation of the civilized world. 
The service which would hereby be rendered, may be in- 
ferred from the loud outcry of a prominent slaveholder, 
f the literature of the world is against us? There is not, 
perhaps, in the world, a class of persons more sensitive to 
public opinion than slaveholders. Hence all their frenzied 
excitement because abolitionists will discuss Slavery. It 
is not because they believe that their slaves will be instigated 
to rebellion, or that any compulsory measures will be used 
to effect the overthrow of Slavery ; but simply because 
they foresee that the inevitable consequence of discussion will 
be the creation of a strong public sentiment at the north against 
their favourite system. Regard for public favour — strong in 
every community — is doubly so among slaveholders, for 
with them it is an indispensable prop to a misgiving con- 



316 NOTES. 

science. " [What follows is applicable to slaveholders iii 
every age and country — not excepting the " generous West 
Indian."] "With the slaveholder, accredited respectability 
becomes a substitute for self-respect, which gradually 
abandons him amid the perpetual developments of passion 
and meanness. Hitherto the slaveholder has been living 
upon his respectability, and he has certainly had an un- 
reasonable stock of it, both at home and abroad. But his 
glory is passing away. The disguises of generosity, hos- 
pitality, and chivalry, under which he has so long con- 
trived to practise his impositions upon the world, are 
being torn off, and he must soon appear in his naked 
deformity — the abhorrence of mankind. To hasten this 
desirable consummation, we would enlist the British press 
widely in the discussion of American Slavery. Let Ame- 
rican slaveholders feel not merely that the literature of 
the world is against them, but that the British press, with 
its piety, talent, learning, eloquence, and philanthropy, 
marshals and leads on the host Similarity of lan- 
guage, laws, manners, and pursuits, and the great and in- 
creasing intercourse between the two nations, give to 
Britons a moral hold upon our countrymen, which no 
other people on the globe possess. We entreat them not 
to be deterred from the most active advocacy of this cause 
by the consideration that Great Britain and America are 
distinct nations. What, though we are politically two 
people — are we not morally one ? Are we not one bro- 
therhood of human kind ? Is it the nature of the geo- 
graphical lines which separate the family of man into 
various nations and governments, to absolve one portion 
of that family from all obligation to exert a moral influ- 
ence over others ? We feel assured that such a senti- 
ment will find no tolerance with British abolitionists. 



NOTES. 317 

Whether Americans desire, deprecate, or defy their rebukes, 
they will be uttered, and they will be heard." 



NOTES TO CANTO V. 

Forced by his crimes — his lust for gold. — p. 123. 

It is well known that North America was formerly the 
Botany Bay of Great Britain. How atrocious is the 
policy of sending to a land of heathens, criminals of the 
worst description to become the progenitors of races 
which are confessedly to bear the name of Christians ! * 
We cannot complain of the fruit when we know what 
tree we have planted. But there was another species of 
colonists. " After the discovery of America, we saw the 
folly, the injustice, and the avaricious spirit of individuals, 
who, thirsting after gold, threw themselves upon the first 

* A different system has been forced upon the Americans — 
their State Prisons cannot be sufficiently praised. The leading 
principle of these is, that those who have forfeited their civil 
liberty by crimes which aimed at the vitality of the State, must 
contribute by their labours to its future welfare. The prisoners 
support themselves, and benefit the country. What are our 
prisons ? Receptacles of crime, laziness, and ignorance — until 
their inmates are draughted to contaminate a virgin people, 
whose land we have robbed, whose happiness we have de- 
stroyed. 



318 NOTES. 

countries to which their ships conveyed them. The more 
greedy they were, the more they separated themselves 
from each other — they wished not to cultivate, but to 
lay waste. Those indeed were not true colonists.'* — 
Talleyrand. 

His name became an Echo where his bones remain! — p. 123. 

I beg to acknowledge the inaccuracy of this Alexandrine 
— admitting my inability to express the identical thought 
in more legitimate measure. Doctor Johnson criticising 
Dryden, observes, that the Alexandrine " is not always 
very diligently fabricated by him. It invariably requires 
a break at the sixth syllable ; a rule which the modern 
French poets never violate, but which Dryden sometimes 
neglected : — 

" And with paternal thunder vindicates his throne"* 

Great Mesachebe ! — p. 123. 

The Indian, and therefore true name of the Mississippi 
— I believe the word Mesachebe, or Mesciachebe, means 
King or Father of the Waters, I am not certain which. 
The Missouri has been described in the preceding Canto. 
The Mississippi, itself 1200 miles in length, is a tributary 
of the Missouri, which flowing from the Rocky Moun- 
tains, is met by the former 3000 miles from its source ; 
and by the time its primordial waters have reached the 
Gulph of Mexico, they have measured the enormous space 
of 4265 miles ! 

* Life of Dryden. 



NOTES. 319 



And strike the River-King. — p. 124. 

" In those endless planes are seen promiscuously wander- 
ing, herds of four or five thousand wild buffaloes. Ever 
and anon an ancient Bison swims across the stream, and 
lays him down at ease upon the luxuriant herbage of some 
island of the Mesachebe. From his brow, armed with 
two half-moons — from his ancient and muddy beard, you 
would imagine him the bellowing emperor of the Stream, 
who proudly casts a glance of complacency over the vast 
expanse of its waves, and the wild abundance of its 
banks."* 

A Python from corruption sprung. — p. 124. 

A vile monster produced among others, after the Deluge, 
by the grumbling earth ilia quidem nollet. He was the 
most remarkable of all, sed te quoque maocime Python turn 
genuit — a terror to the natives, populisque vovis — an extra- 
ordinary foul beast, incognite serpens 1 Vast indeed was 
the space he occupied at one time, Qui modo pestifero tot 
jugera ventre prementem — but happily exterminated by 
Apollo, " Stravimus innumeris tumidum Pythona sagittis." 



and fed, 



Like Baal, hungry god ! $c. — p. 124. 

The Chaldean Baal, or Bel. The word means governor 
or lord. It is not known whether it was the Sun or 



* Attala. I have translated the above from the Italian, not 
having the original. I think there is a slight difference in a few 
of the words. 



320 NOTES. 

Nimrod who was worshipped under that name. Daniel 
relates (Apoc.) his detection of the cheat of Bel's priests, 
who came every night through private doors, to eat what 
was offered to their deity. 

The worship of Baal was common to many of the 
Eastern nations, particularly the Phoenicians and Canaan- 
ites. It prevailed in the British islands. The god's name 
in Britain was Belin — hence the euphonious BelirCs gate, 
or Billingsgate at London. The god was imported into 
the British isles, most probably from the Phoenicians. 
Christianity has not succeeded in abolishing entirely the 
absurd practices that attended his worship. The subject 
is interesting, but irrelevant further than the allusion. 
Taylor's edition of Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible, con- 
tains a full account of the god, with a most expressive en- 
graving, viz. bulVs horns, ass's ears, low brow, grim look, 
and three stars to boot. 



Resign the field — the spear — the sheen of dag. — p. 125. 

Cur apricum 

Oderit campum, pattens pulveris atque solis ? 

Hor. Carm. Lib. L 8. 

And still where are the proofs that we believe ? <§-c. — p. 125. 

" But woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! 
for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men : for 
ye neither go in gourselves, neither suffer ye them that are 
entering to go in. "Woe unto you, Scribes and Phari- 
sees, hypocrites ! for ye devour widow's houses, and for a 
pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive 
greater damnation." St. Matt, xxiii. 13, 14. 



321 



Sent with his wives and little ones to mourn. — p. 125. 

Pellitur paternos 

In sinu f evens deos 

Et uxor, et vir, sordidosque natos. 

Hor. Carm. II. 18. 

Then seize his kingdom for our recompense, Qc. — p. 126. 

" It is only when the whiteman has destroyed, or de- 
based a large portion of the inhabitants of the New 
World, that he begins to inquire with more eager interest 
into the character and history of his predecessors in the 
possession of the soil. Races of men have undoubtedly 
disappeared before the civilizing influence of the white- 
man, even in Europe, and the same process has taken 
place in the New "World, and is now taking place in 
Van Dieman's Land. The whiteman covets the fertile 
lands which the native only roams over in pursuit of prey, 
or partially cultivates ; and the process of the occupation 
of the land when once begun by the European colonists, 
especially those of the Teutonic stock, is only limited by 
the nature of the soil and the climate. The native gra- 
dually recedes and disappears, till the whiteman has 
reached the boundaries of agricultural occupation, or till 
climate arrests his progress. Thus in North America, 
where the exclusive habits of the white colonist are intolerant 
of all modes of life but that which he prescribes, the Indian 
and he are mutual enemies ; and the disappearance of the 
aborigines has regularly continued, till, from the Atlantic 
to the Apalachian system, scarcely a vestige of the primi- 
tive races worth noticing is found : from the Apalachian 
to the borders of the lower Mississippi, the same history 

Y 



322 NOTES. 

is rapidly in progress, and the western limits of the white- 
man's rule must be the rude plains which he cannot culti- 
vate. The Indian has been preserved in the two Americans, 
only where he has mingled with the whiteman, and partly 
adopted his habits ; or where impenetrable forests or cold 
inhospitable regions have protected, or where, as in the 
case of the Araucanos of Chili, his own courage has saved 
him from extermination. The islands of the Columbian 
Archipelago present the singular spectacle of a whole 
race of people that has disappeared within the limits of 
recent and authentic history : their place is occupied by 
the whiteman of Europe as the Master, and the blackman 
of Africa as the Slave ; — and who can say what may be 
the future revolutions in the history of these new occu- 
pants?"* 

A las ! as snow, spring-melted from the ground, 
They were, but are not ! — p. 126. 

Such was the comparison used by one of the Indian 
chiefs in his eloquent expostulation with the Americans. 
The work of extermination is still progressing, and ere 
long will be completed. " On the following day, as the 
morning dawned, my entertainers left me in order to follow 
their path in the wilderness. The young men took the 
lead, and the wives closed the rear. The former carried 
the holy relics, the latter their little ones : the old men 
marched slowly in the centre, stationed between their 
ancestors and their posterity — between those who were 
not, and those who were not yet+ — between remem- 
brances and hopes — a country lost, and a country to come. 
Oh ! how many tears embitter the wilderness when the 
exile leaves his natal soil, and from the top of the hill of 

* Penny Cycl. in voce America. 
+ Quelli che non erano ancora. 



notes. 323 

separation he beholds for the last time the roof where he 
was born, and the stream of his dwelling, which continues 
sorrowfully flowing through the solitary fields of his 
native land ! Unfortunate Indians ! You whom I have 
seen wandering in the wilds of the New World, with 
the ashes of your fathers ! You from whom I have re- 
ceived hospitality, notwithstanding your wretchedness ! 
I could not return that kindness to you, for I also, like 
you, am a wanderer — persecuted by men — and in my 
exile even less fortunate than yourselves, since I have not 
with me the bones of my fathers ! "* 

A Nemesis upon the bloody plain. — p. 131. 

tc Of the marble which the Persians had brought with 
them to erect a monument in memory of their expected 
victory, the Athenians now caused a statue to be made by 
the celebrated sculptor Phidias, to transmit to posterity 
the remembrance of their defeat. This statue was dedi- 
cated to the goddess Nemesis, who had a temple near the 
place." — Goldsm. See also Rollin and Barthel., for a de- 
scription of this battle, and the naval engagement alluded 
to. 



Her other half, $c— p. 132. 

Ah ! te mese si partem animae rapit 
Maturior vis," &c. — Hor. Carm. II. 17. 



* Chateaubriand, Atala. He was then flying from the 
tyranny of Bonaparte. The reader will find much interesting 
information on the Indian nations, in Murray's Travels, and 
Chateaubriand's Voyages, Atala, &c. 



T 2 



324 NOTES. 



■The hand 



Of god-creating Phidias, #c— -p. 133. 

" Phidias is said to have excelled more in the sculpture 
of gods than of men ; but in ivory he was far abpve every 
rival, even had he produced nothing but the Athenian 
Minerva, or the Olympian Jupiter in Elis, whose beauty 
seems to confer additional authority on the established 
religion of the country — so well did the majesty of the 
representation image the original." — Quintilian Instit. 
1. 12, c. 10. 

No Zeuxis culls the beauties of the land, Qc. — p. 133. 

A celebrated painter. His " Helen " became famous. 
It was painted for the Agrigentines, but, according to 
Barthelemy was placed ultimately in the temple of Venus 
at Athens, whose suffrages he courted together with all the 
learned in the arts and sciences, who flourished about the 
time of the Peloponesian war. The Agrigentines, that he 
might not be without a model, sent him the most beautiful 
of their virgins. Zeuxis examined their native beauties, 
and retained five from whose elegance and graces united, 
he conceived in his mind the form of the most perfect 
woman in the universe, which his pencil at last executed 
with wonderful success. — See Lemp.; and Barthel. vol. I. p. 
529, for the state of Greece at that time with regard to the 
arts and sciences. 

In reckless dithyrambics rolls along. — p. 134. 

" Seu per audaces nova dithyrambos 
Verba devolvit, numerisque fertur 

Lege solutis." — Hor. Carm. IV., 2. 

I am compelled to omit several remarks intended as 
notes to this Canto. The classic reader will easily perceive 



NOTES. 325 

the allusions made in the text ; and I trust that, with 
what is given in the notes, the general reader will see the 
object of those allusions and their scope. For the various 
opinions of the ancients on Pindar, see Voyage oVAnachar- 
sis, vol. III. c. 34. Thespia was a town at the foot of 
Helicon, the mountain sacred to the Muses, who had a 
temple there. 

How grew to Fame the first historic tree ? — p. 134. 

Herodotus, the father of history, was born at Halicar- 
nassus in Asia Minor. He expelled the tyrant of his native 
city ; but his patriotic deed, far from gaining the esteem of 
the populace, only served to irritate them, so that Hero- 
dotus was obliged to fly into Greece, from the public 
resentment. To procure a lasting fame, he publicly 
repeated at the Olympic games the history which he had 
composed in his 39th year. b. c. 445. It was received 
with such universal applause, that the names of the nine 
Muses were unanimously given to the nine books into which it 
is divided.* 

Heaven blessed him with its Truth, $c. — p. 134. 

Plato's writings were so celebrated, and his opinions so 
respected, that he was called divine ; and for the elegance, 
melody, and sweetness of his expressions, he was desig- 
nated by the appellation of the Athenian Bee. His philo- 
sophy was universally adopted ; and it has not only 
governed the opinions of the speculative part of mankind, 
but it still continues to influence the reasoning, and to 
divide the sentiments of the moderns. + Fleury, the 
church-historian, says, that Plato was the only ancient 

* Lemp. f Ibid. 



326 NOTES. 

philosopher, whose writings seem to be inspired with 
Christian humility. 

The poor blind King that Heaven and Earth chastise. — p. 134. 

See the CEdipus Coloneus of Sophocles — one of the most 
affecting of his tragedies. CEdipus is introduced as an 
exile (voluntary, or as some say, banished by his own sons) 
poor and blind, led by his daughter Antigone to Colonos, 
an eminence near Athens, where there was a grove sacred 
to the Furies. Called by a prophetic voice, he walked, 
without the assistance of a guide, to the spot where he was 
to expire. Immediately the earth opened, and CEdipus 
disappeared.* 

The Father's soul unbending to the blast. — p. 134. 
For he exclaims — 

" Srepyav yap at iraQai fit j^to %povog ^vvojv 

MaKpbg didaffKei, Kai to yevvalov, Tpirov." —Act I. Scene I. 

The Daughter's love. — p. 134. 
How tender the reply of the blind man's guide ! 

" (Ed.— KaQi%e vvv pe, Kai (pvXaaae rov rv<p\ov. 
Antig. — Xpovov fitv Iovvsk ov fiaOelv fis del roce." — Ibid. 

The sister's sympathies. — p. 134. 

For Polynices enters to share his father's and sister's af- 
fliction. He is now repentant — touched with pity, grief, 
fear, shame, and compunction. 

* This circumstance is alluded to in the last line of the stanza. 



NOTES. 327 

Then follows : 

" Polyn.— Et xpV Oavovpai. 
Antig. — Mr) av y aXX' efxoi ttiOov. 
Polyn.— M^ iruQ' a /n) du. 
Antig. — AvaraXaiva rap tyw, 

Et aov <TTepr)Qu>.' n — Act IV. Scene II. 

In voiceless grief. — p. 348. 
" Uapkax* <pu)vt}v rolg a<p(ovi)Totg riva."" — Ibid. 

Unchanged duration of eternal day, fyc. — p. 135. 

I have given the reflections suggested by the foregoing 
topics, in the words of the tragic poet of Athens, delivered 
by (Edipus to Theseus, her King : — 

" Q (piXrar Aiyeiog 7rat, fiovoig ov yiverai 
Qeoig to yfjpag, ovde KarQavtlv tzotv 
Ta d'aXXa cvyxti rravQ' 6 TrayKparr\g xpovoc. 
&0ivti fisv tV^vc yqg, (pQivsi Se awfiarog' 
QvrjaKei Se Tricrnc, fiXaaravei 8' amoria. 
Kat Trvevfia ravrov ovttot ovt ev avdpaai 
4>t\oic {StfinKiv, ovti irpog ttoXiv ttoXu. 
Tote fiev yap ndn, roigd'ev vor£p(pxP 0V V 
Ta TtpTrva TTiKpa yiverai, KavOig <piXa." 

Act I. Scene VII. (Ed. Com. 

'Twas out o/bitteb Egypt. — p. 136. 

That epithet is applied by Homer to the name of Egypt, 
as has been observed in a previous note, on account 
of her cruelty to the slave. We find it in the threat of 
Antinous : — 

"Mij raxct iriKpnv Alyvirrov idnai. Odvg. P." 



328 NOTES. 

I find that I have been anticipated in the comparison 
and leading thought of this stanza. 

" The object of procuring so many slaves implies a con- 
dition of hardship and suffering. They are not bought, 
like the house-servant, for light service, quickly done and 
allowing frequent intervals of leisure, but for severe un- 
bending toil. They were not purchased as articles of con- 
venience, but as beasts of burthen. A task is assigned 
them, interminable as the upheaving of Egyptian pyramids, 
the building of their masters' fortunes ; a task which the 
insatiableness of avarice makes endless, and its remorseless- 
ness unutterably cruel."* 

Was it denied us the erected mien, fyc. — p. 137. 

" Os homini sublime dedit" fyc. — Ovid. Metam. 1. I. 85. 

\ 
The cloudy ignorance of those who deem 
Oppression guiltless by the colour'' d skin, fyc. — p. 137- 

" Nothing can exceed the disposition manifested by the 
Negro population, to acquire the comforts and even the 
luxuries of civilised life. The world has seen no example 
of so general and intense a desire for education and 
religious instruction, as has been shown by the apprentices 
on behalf of themselves and their children, within the last 
few years. Their conduct and their character are full of 
promise for the future ; full of tokens of their capacity to 
become, when free, a well ordered, industrious, and pros- 
perous community. Their oppressors continue to malign 
them, but the shafts of calumny have spent their force. 

* See Report, p. 75. 



NOTES. 329 

None of those dreams of danger and difficulty, which were 
put forth as pretexts for delaying the Abolition of Slavery, 
ever had any other basis than fraudulent design or guilty 
fear. From the time when it was maintained, that the 
Negro was of the lower creation, to the present day, when 
he is recognised as of the common brotherhood of man, 
every pro-slavery dogma respecting his character and ca- 
pabilities has been disproved by experience ; every pro- 
slavery prophecy has been falsified by the event. We are 
entitled, therefore, to doubt the intimate acquaintance of 
the Planters with the Negro character; to turn a deaf ear 
to their speculations on the future, and to listen to those 
reasonable considerations, which are deduced from the 
supposition, that the apprentices [now free] are governed 
by the motives and interests common to human nature, 
and which are in accordance with our experience of the 



Such are the opinions, set fprth among others, " in con- 
clusion/' of Messrs. Sturge and Harvey in their book en- 
titled " The West Indies in 1837," and the authentic 
details of the volume justify that conclusion. It were 
useless to prove a claim when an irreversible possession is 
established, independent of argument, unassailable by force : 
still, notwithstanding the numerous facts, individual and 
collective, (of individuals and of tribes, organizations 
decisive of this prerogative,) which leave no doubt in the 
mind of the true philosopher {a petitio principii, I grant) 
and the Christian, respecting the claim of the Negro to a 
perfect equality with the white race, as man, — I shall state 
the case as it has represented itself to me after every his- 
torical and physiological argument had been duly con- 
sidered, and found not wanting. In effect, what are all our 
learned researches, our imaginative disquisitions, if their 
strengthless shafts strike against the fundamental dogma 



330 NOTES. 

of Christianity ? ALL Men have sprung from Adam and 
Eve — or they have not. If they have not all sprung from 
Adam and Eve, the stain of Original sin is not general. 
If the stain of original sin be not general,it impartial, if par- 
tial — so is the Redemption — then Christ has not died for ALL. 
Therefore, the doctrine of universal Redemption is con- 
clusive in favour of the unity and identity of the human 
race. 

This being admitted, all " differences in form and struc- 
ture, that are observed in different nations, will be found 
to be such as we may reasonably suppose to have resulted 
from the influence of accidental causes upon one original 
species or family." * Without the conclusive evidence of 
the foregoing argument, I grant that the different families 
of men may argue different creations — I grant this, how- 
ever, merely as a possibility, for where is the effect for which 
many causes may not be alleged ? Is it in Physics, Morals, 
or Medicine ? But, at the same time, I may be allowed to 
question whether such a supposition or hypothesis is in 
accordance with the almighty energy, which said " Let 
there be light — and there was light ! " In a word, whether 
the Divinity is exhibited more in the production of many 
from many, than many from one. 

Niebuhr is one of the advocates of this hypothesis. He 
succeeded in demolishing two hundred and fifty years of 
the Roman History, and has found out that the " origin 
of the human race lies beyond our comprehension." Indeed, 
if I understand that most incomprehensible of authors (at 
least in his history) he does not allow one common origin 
to mankind. 

Allied to this " hypothesis," is the opinion of those, who, 
generalizing from what are termed ' conclusive facts/ 

* Mayo, Physiology, Chap. XIV. 



NOTES. 331 

have pounced on the conclusion, that there is an insur- 
mountable barrier betwixt different races — a barrier built 
up by the Creator. Then the destruction of the Indian 
and the African is in accordance with nature, and, there- 
fore, " whatever is, is right ! " — the effect for the cause ! — 
A resident amongst the Indians of North America dis- 
covered a " fact " perfectly conclusive on this head. When 
he went forth in the village, the dogs began to bark, the 
children screamed, and the horses snorted and kicked 
at him. This was innate antipathy between the red man 
and the white man ! Of course no European has ever been 
barked at, screamed at, snorted at, and kicked at, by 
dogs, children, and horses ! The most apparent cause in 
the world would have sufficed in Europe, but because he 
was among " savages," the barking, screaming, snorting, 
and kicking proceeded from the recondite antipathy of 
different races. Unfortunately, however, for these anti- 
pathetical peripatetics in the wilderness, it is but too well 
known that amalgamation was desired by many savage 
tribes. The story of Alexander the Great and the Queen 
of the Amazons, has been renewed "many a time and oft " 
in the wilds of America ; and but for the savage passions 
of the white race, the happiest results would have accrued ; 
for man, like the soil, is bettered by a right amalgamation 
— he is bettered physically, intellectually, and morally. 
The American slave-breeders know this by experience, and 
thus they say u mulattoes are surer than pure Negroes ;" and 
it may be true, that only amalgamation will re-establish 
the decaying organism of civilized races, age after age en- 
tailing upon themselves a frightful list of hereditary 
diseases and malformations. Of course this will never 
take place by argument : but if we can trace a moral cause 
operating towards mighty effects from the present to the 
future, perhaps the civil equalization of the Negro race, 



332 NOTES. 

now established by Great Britain, will soon be followed by 
a moral equalization. On this will be based the reunion of 
races of different capabilities, and the result cannot fail to 
benefit the human family. 

Hitherto there has existed a terrific antipathy indeed — 
the antipathy betwixt life in the black and red man, and 
gunpowder or the lash, in the firelock, and in the hand of 
the white man, — intoxicating drinks, — and all the infernal 
diseases which Europeans have brought to exterminate 
the savages, particularly the Indians. We can trace upon 
the map of North and South America where these existed 
as flourishing, powerful, numerous tribes : — phrenologists 
are now engaged in gathering their skulls, and mora- 
lists in accounting for their destruction by innate anti- 
pathy. 

Meanwhile the poor Negro exists — God be praised ! 
Dying for three hundred years, Africa is still alive ! It is 
indeed sweet to contemplate her immortality in death. 
What is her condition as a nation, independent of the 
slave-trade and its effects ? her condition as a " nation in 
herself ? " Not quite as bad as that of Great Britain 
eighteen hundred years ago. Compare savage Britain 
with Africa as she is. — I need not repeat what is to be 
found in every history of England — one thing, however, 
should not be forgotten, that the ancestors, or at least col- 
lateral ancestors of this humane nation, sacrificed human 
victims ; in plain words, burnt men in large idols of wicker 
work, made so capacious as to contain a multitude of per- 
sons at once, who were thus consumed together.* Civiliza- 
tion was then introduced by the Romans ; and if we may 
believe the respectable historian Tacitus, the Britons en- 
deavoured most heartily to copy the manners of their 

* See Goldsm. 



NOTES. 333 

masters, although they were most vilely calumniated now 
and then by the Romans, and made to bear all kinds of 
bad names, such as " hard," " ferocious," " horrible " — 
nay, I suspect that the celebrated verse of Virgil embodies 
an exclusive opinion of their race as well as their geogra- 
phical position — " etpenitus toto divisos orbe Britannos," (the 
Britons almost separated from all the world ! J * And why ? 
Because there were found among them tribes who would 
not be conquered : " Te manet invictus Romana Marte 
Britannus" — (the Briton waits thee, by the Roman arms, un- 
conquered still ! ) Thus they remained for ages, invaded 
from without, barbarous within, forced slaves in process of 
time, like the Africans, only white. I said slaves — in fact 
we read that the kindhearted Pope Gregory " chanced one 
day to pass through the slave-market at Rome, and per- 
ceiving some children of great beauty, who were set up for 
sale, he inquired about their country, and finding they 
were English Pagans, he is said to have cried out 
in the Latin language, * Non Angli, sed Angeli forent, 
si essent Christiani ! ' (they would not be English, or 
Angles, but angels, if they were but Christians !) From 
that time he was struck with an ardent desire to 
convert that unenlightened nation, and ordered a monk 
named Augustine, and others of the same fraternity, to 
undertake the mission into Britain."+ These poor chil- 
dren were doubtless stolen, like the little negroes, from 
their parents ; but, alas ! how different was the result. 
The good pope made their misfortune reflect a blessing on 

* Croxall says : " It is to be feared he meant in point of polite- 
ness and civility as well as situation." See his Edition of 
^Esop's Fables — in the application of " The Partridge and the 
Cocks." His is certainly the best edition of that most instruc- 
tive author. 

f See Goldsm. Pinnock's edit. 



334 NOTES. 

their country: but the moderns at a similar spectacle 
became only more determined in the atrocious trade of 
man-stealing. Well, from that time Britain advanced, 
more and more civilized, till about the time that the 
Europeans began to enslave the Africans, England began 
to become what she now is perhaps, (all things considered,) 
the most civilized nation of the earth. Who would have 
predicted these results eighteen hundred years ago ? Oh ! 
but the Britons were a different race of men, essen- 
tially improvable, &c. &c. Wonderfully true ! and whence 
do you conclude thus ? Is it not from the effect ? Is this 
not palpably tantamount to say, that Britain has pro- 
gressed because she has progressed? Position, oppor- 
tunities, nature of the soil, and a thousand other advan- 
tages may have favoured her, but these advantages, let it 
be remembered, are independent of her men. Place an 
African in England from birth, will he not succeed on the 
whole as well as a whiteman ? This need not be dwelt 
upon, for all know that blackmen do succeed in England 
as elsewhere. Then if individuals have succeeded, tribes — 
nations could have succeeded — therefore the advance of 
men in the career of civilisation is dependent upon their 
geographical position, &c. as much as, if not more than, 
their individual organization. I grant the present infe- 
riority of African nations to Europeans — but, arguing 
from self-evident analogy, the Africans may become what 
Europeans are, since Europeans were what the Africans 
are. There is very little doubt that the human brain is 
the grand medium — this is by its very nature capable of 
improvement — let us then (even merely for the sake of 
the experiment) take it for granted that the African's 
brain is essentially constituted like that of the European's, 
and only deficient here and there in volume and texture. 
Britain required eighteen hundred years with all her natu- 



NOTES. 335 

ral advantages. Let us then have a little patience with 
Africa. Britain can do more than any other nation for 
Africa ; but not in the way hitherto followed. "We must 
not try to teach them our religion by word of mouth only, 
and rest satisfied with "converting the heathen." We 
must not prey upon them, and expect money for civilisa- 
tion — surely they have given us enough already ! But 
there is still much obloquy cast upon the negro in the 
colonies — they say " he wont work." "Well, this may be 
true to a certain extent since the emancipation : but in 
the name of justice ! one would suppose from what he 
has done for his masters, that these would now give him 
a retiring pension, and let him rest his bones a little. 
Reader ! perhaps thou hast children. Hast thou not ex- 
perienced great difficulty in making them look into a 
book on a Saturday, after having been fagging under the 
rod of the schoolmaster for five heavy, long days ? And 
oh ! what a fagging has been that of the poor Negro ! 
"What a schoolmaster he has had ! Surely, thy kind heart 
will say, it is but natural for the poor fellow (who is indeed 
a child not accustomed to think for the future) to crave a 
holiday, after all his fagging ! For three hundred years he 
has toiled in that horrid school — and what has he learnt 
with much flogging, maiming, and buffeting ? to hoe the 
ground, to plant the cane, to make sugar and rum — and 
thus has built up ike fortune of his schoolmaster. If the 
planters don't make abundant returns of sugar and rum, 
&c. they cry out, " For this we must thank Emancipa- 
tion ! " But, as has been observed, " The production of 
excessive wealth in a slave community does not alleviate 
misery, nor lighten toil ; it serves but to heighten the con- 
trast between the splendour of the slave-master, and the 
wretchedness of the slave. In the British colonies, wealth 
has been the cause of non-residence, the origin of mercenary 



336 NOTES. 

agency, which has aggravated even slavery itself. The 
continuance of such vicious parts of a bad system is 
neither probable nor desirable in a state of freedom," &c. 
a The immense export of corn and cattle from Ireland, 
cannot be adduced as a proof that her peasantry are living 
in comfort and abundance; nor do the amount and value 
of the exports from the West Indies denote, under present 
circumstances, the happy condition of their agricultural 
population." In fact, kind Reader, if the freedom of the 
Negro was just in itself, what does this deficiency of " pro- 
duce" prove against it ? Who would for a moment 
hesitate which to prefer ? I remember on one occasion, 
in the colonies, hearing this lamentation for deficiency of 
labourers, and consequently of " produce ;" and then the 
Planter said, "We have to thank Emancipation for this ! " 
I listened to him, and when he had concluded, and was 
soothing his sorrow with a pinch of snuff, I said to him, 
" Sir ! if all the sugar and rum in the West Indies, or in 
the East Indies, were set in one basin of a balance, and 
the freedom of the poor Negro held the mass in equili- 
brium in the other — would you not be the first to kick the 
beam in favour of the unfortunate blackman ? " He did 
not reply, but I think his heart said yes, for he was not 
really a bad man. I shall conclude these remarks with 
the words of a talented Physician, Dr. Forbes. " That 
even the external characteristics of the ^Ethiopian variety of 
mankind, as laid down by many writers, and mere 
caricatures, drawn from partial observation of exaggerated 
peculiarities, is now sufficiently established ; and precisely 
the same may be said with regard to their intellectual and 
moral capabilities. The picture drawn by those who have 
only been acquainted with this unfortunate people, in the 
degraded position of slaves, and which portrays them as 
utterly vicious, malignant, perverse, and faithless, irre- 



NOTES. 3^7 

trievably subdued by indolence, incapable of improve- 
ment, and scarcely even deserving a place among rational 
creatures, is so palpably overcoloured, so evidently the 
result of prejudice and imperfect observation, as to de- 
ceive none who will examine the subject for themselves. 
The accounts of those enterprising travellers who have 
penetrated into the interior of Africa, are well known to 
be altogether different. These represent the African to 
possess, in full vigour, all the intellectual and moral 
qualities of his white brethren. It seems, however, to 
have been too generally overlooked by all parties, that 
there are distinct tribes among Negroes as among Euro- 
peans ; and that, while some (those formerly most known) 
are very inferior, others more recently discovered, espe- 
cially in the interior of Africa, are proportionably supe- 
rior. The former clans have low heads and smaller 
brains, while the latter approach, both in brain and 
feature, the European standard. Another point of great 
importance, as influencing mental manifestations, has 
been overlooked by Tiedemann and most others, viz. the 
quality of constitution or temperament. Generally speak- 
ing, the European is finer in fibre than the Negro ; * and 
hence, with otherwise equal powers, the former would be 
more susceptible of polish and refinement. Why should 
all Negroes be alike any more than Europeans? The 
French brain is smaller than the English, as the French 
hatters experienced when they had to make blocks ex- 
pressly for the English soldiers. This remark applies to 
Dr. Sims, and nearly all others who have weighed brains. 



* And to what must this be attributed, but his mode of life 
and want of culture? Who cannot observe the difference in 
this very respect betwixt the children of farmers or husband- 
men, and those of others of less animal avocations? 



338 NOTES. 

How could the weight be uniform, when it is palpable to 
the eye, that, taken generally, both Irish and French 
brains are smaller than English and Scotch ; and, in some 
districts, all these are inferior to German and Swiss ? 
But then the Swiss, with their large heads, have slow, 
heavy temperaments, and are, consequently, frequently 
inferior in actual performance to those with feebler, but 
livelier powers. In this, as in every other inquiry, we 
must look about us, on all sides, if we would find truth ; 
we must not follow any one path only, merely because we 
have chanced to hit upon it. In investigating the physical 
and intellectual characters of races as of individuals, we 
must take Nature as she is ; and, with the more philoso- 
phic phrenologist, be careful not to mix the front and 
back, the top and base of the head, and one temperament 
with another, into one mass, and call it ' fact.' "* 

"Men's passions operate variously/' observes Addison, 
" and appear in different kinds of actions, according as 
they are more or less rectified and swayed by reason. 
When one hears of negroes, who, upon the death of their 
masters, or upon changing their service, hang themselves 
upon the next tree, as it sometimes happens in our Ame- 
rican plantations, who can forbear admiring their fidelity, 
though it expresses itself in so dreadful a manner ? What 
might not that savage greatness of soul, which appears in 
these poor wretches on many occasions, be raised to, were 
it rightly cultivated ? And what colour of excuse can 
there be for the contempt with which we treat this part 
of our species; that we should not put them upon the 
common footing of humanity ; that we should only set an 
insignificant fine upon the man who murders them ; nay, 
that we should, as much as in us lies, cut them off from 
the prospects of happiness in another world, as well as in 
* Medical Review for October, 1839, p. 383. 



NOTES. 339 

this ; and deny them that which we look upon as the 
proper means for attaining it ?" 

One word more for the sake of the Chorus which con- 
cludes the Poem. " It cannot admit of a doubt," says 
Mungo Park, " that all the rich and valuable productions, 
both of the East and West Indies, might easily be 
naturalised, and brought to the utmost perfection in the 
tropical parts of this immense continent. Nothing is 
wanting to this end but example to enlighten the minds 
of the natives, and instruction to enable them to direct 
their industry to proper objects. It was not possible for 
me to behold the wonderful fertility of the soil, the vast 
herds of cattle, proper both for labour and food, and a 
variety of other circumstances favourable to colonisation 
and agriculture — and reflect, withal, on the means which 
presented themselves of a vast inland navigation — without 
lamenting that a country so abundantly gifted and favoured 
by nature, should remain in its present savage and neg- 
lected state. Much more did I lament, that a people of 
manners and dispositions so gentle and benevolent, should 
either be left as they now are, immersed in the gross and 
uncomfortable blindness of pagan superstition, or per- 
mitted to become converts to a system of bigotry and 
fanaticism,* which without enlightening the mind, often 
debases the heart.f 

The name shall we bear 

Of his children bless' d? fyc. — p. 143. 

" It is impossible, however, to close this address, with- 
out again expressing, in the most emphatic terms, the 
conviction and earnest hope of all who have already 
attached themselves as members of this Institution, that 
* Mahometanism. f Park's Travels, c. xxiii. 



340 NOTES. 

the measures, to be adopted by them for the suppression 
of the traffic in slaves — for securing the peace and tran- 
quillity of Africa — for the encouragement of agriculture 
and commerce — will facilitate the propagation and tri- 
umph of that faith, which one and all feel to be indispen- 
sable for the happiness of the inhabitants of that continent." 
— Prospectus or the Society for the Extinction 
of the Slave-trade, and for the Civilisation of 
Africa. 



the end. 



Joseph RJckerby, Printer, Sherbourn Lane. 

//